Kevin Smith is a notorious fanboy. As proud as we are to call ourselves fangirls around here, we have nothing but respect for that. And it’s truly an amazing experience to get a chance to talk to someone who embodies the way we consume entertainment, the way we want to live it.
In the leadup to Masters of the Universe: Revelation, whose synopsis reads: “The war for Eternia culminates in “Masters of the Universe: Revelation,” an innovative and action-packed animated series that picks up where the iconic characters left off decades ago. After a cataclysmic battle between He-Man and Skeletor, Eternia is fractured and the Guardians of Grayskull are scattered. And after decades of secrets tore them apart, it’s up to Teela to reunite the broken band of heroes, and solve the mystery of the missing Sword of Power in a race against time to restore Eternia and prevent the end of the universe,” we had a chance to participate in a roundtable with the man behind this new version of a classic we all grew up with, and we have just one thing to say about Kevin Smith.
No, actually, we have a bunch, but this is still the most important one: He really, really loves what he does.
You might think, oh, I already knew that. And perhaps superficially, you did. But as someone who’s interviewed a lot of people, there’s just something about the way Kevin Smith approached a project he molded, that still never lost the edge of “I’m a fan of this” that we rarely get to see. And that’s not just refreshing, it’s inspiring.
But onto Masters of the Universe: Revelation. Smith was clear that his entire job with this new adaptation was exactly what we thought it was: “The job was nostalgia, the job was like (if) you are making a show that is fanservice for anyone who grew up watching that cartoon.”
“We wanted something for the kids who grew up watching that incarnation and we wanted to deliver that incarnation to them. Do a spiritual sequel,” if you will. And the intention is clear in every second of the show. Just as it’s clear that the people involved in it, beyond Kevin, are also fans.
“Lena Headay watched this as a child,” Smith shared with us. “Mark (Hamill) signed on right away.” And, for the biggest name (sorry Mr. Wood), Smith shared that they sort of threw the idea around, almost like a dream. “What if Sarah Michelle Gellar signed on?” And they thought “dream on,” except this dream came true.
“We got very fortunate,” Smith recognizes. “We got this incredible cast,” of very well-known figures, and “having those actors lend us their credibility really raised our profile.” The show is great, but often animated properties get lost in the sea of so much content, and the names attached make that harder. But that also means the show is coming with many more expectations, particularly for that generation that grew up with it.
Which doesn’t mean that you can’t come into this show if you haven’t consumed every second of Masters of the Universe, or that you need a full re-watch before watching. “I feel you can kind of come into it, if you don’t know the world that well,” Smith mused. “We felt like… go for the base, the kids who grew up watching the show who are now adults and figuring they would probably bring their kids with them.”
Part of the joy of this new version, of the love that’s been put into it, is that you can tell there’s no intention of using these characters, this world, as the punchline of a joke. There’s no you were wrong to enjoy this as a child to the show, no our version is better. There’s just appreciation, and a continuation.
“We just did what Marvel does,” Smith compared. “They take your childhood and re-serve it to you in an incredibly appetizing recipe, and you’ve eaten it before but omg it’s so tasty because of the way they prepared it.”
When the man’s right, he’s right.
Ultimately, though, the new Masters of the Universe: Revelation is about giving back to the fans, about someone who loves something, wanting to bring it to a place where other people who love it could enjoy it. And that’s such a hard, and yet fulfilling thing. Because Kevin Smith loves fandom, in general. And he understands it better than most people in his position.
“Even at the most toxic level of fandom, there’s someone who loves something, at the heart of it. You can reach those people,” he told us, stopping, of course, to point out that this doesn’t include people who use fandom as an excuse to be racist, homophobic or misogynist. This is about fans with different opinions.
“In any tribal culture it’s acceptance (for those) who love exactly as you love, suspicion outside of that.” And though Kevin is a fan – and we are fans – if we got something out of the conversation with him is that, in life and in fandom, there’s really no need to get into that.
Maybe “I don’t need to add any negativity to the discourse,” needs to be our motto, as it seems to be Smith’s. Because there’s a lot of things we love to celebrate. And for Kevin Smith, self-proclaimed fanboy, one of the things he really, really loves, is Masters of the Universe. That’s why he went and created this show, surrounded by “incredibly talent on all sides” and the most “fantastic cast.” That’s why he was so adamant about taking this story, these characters, seriously.
And that’s why fans appreciate his work, to this day. Like recognizes like. That’s just the way it is.
Are you excited for Masters of the Universe: Revelation? Share with us in the comments below!
The first five episodes of Masters of the Universe: Revelation will be available on Netflix July 23rd.