Netflix and Mattel share a glimpse of what’s in store when Kevin Smith’s new, 5-episode series premieres July 23.
Though it’s been almost 40 years since we got our first taste of Mattel’s epic tale of warrior goddesses, savage henchmen, cosmic enforcers, lords of destruction, allies and enemies, all centered around a heroic barbarian with a magic sword, trying to do right… wait, where was I…
With filmmaker, pop culture maven and series’ showrunner/EP Kevin Smith (Clerks, Chasing Amy) at the helm, Masters of the Universe: Revelation could potentially reignite the world’s passion for holding up sharp objects and proclaiming, ‘By the power of Grayskull!’ Take that, world! At the very least, we know a bevy of extremely cool toys are on the way!
As the franchise’s first new episodic content in nearly 20 years, Masters of the Universe: Revelation will honor the original adventures of He-Man and friends’ storylines, picking up where the characters left off. But the new series also promises deeper themes, characterizations, and battles designed for an adult audience.
“Narratively our show is set up as the next episode in the legacy ‘80s animated series that aired from 1983-1985,” Smith reveals. “This is a continuation of that story. We're playing with the original mythology and characters, and revisiting and digging deeper into some of the unresolved storylines. Visually we also made the conscious decision to lean into the Masters of the Universe line of toys for inspiration as well. Mattel owns this entire vast library of that artwork, so right away we wanted the show to open with classic pieces of that artwork. Mattel has been committed to this look since they first started as a toy line in the '80s, and now we’re leaning into it and honoring it.”
According to Mattel, the war for Eternia culminates in the new, action-packed series – what else could it be? - 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.
The show’s creators also hint that main characters will evolve: Prince Adam/He-Man, Teela, Evil-Lyn and even Orko will all be very different at the end than they are at the beginning as they battle it out for the fate of Eternia. Alliances will shift, destinies will be met, secrets will be revealed.
“So many of us were touched by these stories and these characters early in our lives and were so happy to come back to Eternia,” Smith shares. “But even if you’ve never watched a single episode of the show or don’t know this universe at all, you can jump right into the story. It’s a really classic, universal action-adventure epic about growth, discovery, magic, and power. This series explores destiny in a fresh way. There’s a lot of reconciling with secrets, betrayal, trust, acceptance, love, and ultimately, loss.”
Produced by Mattel Television with animation produced by Powerhouse Animation, the show keeps true to the classic 80’s look that fans remember, while rendering with greater detail, modern lighting, and atmosphere. Eternia is grounded and real, but also fantastically epic.
The series stars Mark Hamill as Skeletor, Lena Headey as Evil-Lyn, Chris Wood as Prince Adam/He-Man, and Sarah Michelle Gellar as Teela. Original Skeletor voice actor Alan Oppenheimer, will now voice Moss Man. The voice cast also includes Liam Cunningham (Man-At-Arms); Stephen Root (Cringer); Diedrich Bader (King Randor / Trap Jaw); Griffin Newman (Orko); Tiffany Smith (Andra); Henry Rollins (Tri-Klops); Susan Eisenberg (Sorceress); Alicia Silverstone (Queen Marlena); Justin Long (Roboto); Jason Mewes (Stinkor); Phil LaMarr (He-Ro); Tony Todd (Scare Glow); Cree Summer (Priestess); Kevin Michael Richardson (Beast Man); and Kevin Conroy (Mer-Man).
“So much of this show has been possible because of the love and affection for this world at every level of production and the fandom surrounding this franchise,” Smith says. “A big reason we got such top tier voice talent is because people genuinely want to be a part of this world.”
The series is executive produced by Frederic Soulie (He-Man and the Masters of the Universe), Adam Bonnett (Descendants), Christopher Keenan (Justice League, Batman Beyond), and Rob David (He-Man and the Masters of the Universe); produced by Susan Corbin (He-Man and the Masters of the Universe); and written by Marc Bernardin (Castle Rock, Alphas), Eric Carrasco (Supergirl), Diya Mishra (Magic the Gathering), and Tim Sheridan (Reign of the Supermen). The series is composed by Bear McCreary (The Walking Dead, Battlestar Galactica, Outlander).
Dan Sarto is Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of Animation World Network.