Later this year, Netflix will bring another old-school cartoon property back to live with their 5-part miniseries ‘Masters of the Universe: Revelation,’ spearheaded by long-time pop-culture creator Kevin Smith. Serving as the showrunner and executive producer, Smith is joined by behind-the-scenes talent from the original ‘He-Man and the Masters of the Universe’ series, including Frederick Soulie as an executive producer and Susan Cordin as a producer. Longtime Smith co-collaborator Marc Bernardin serves as one of the writers, and the series’ music is composed by Bear McCreary.
Speaking about what the original 1980s cartoon series meant to him, Smith had this to say:
I watched all of the TV series growing up, it was everywhere in the ‘80s. These characters started off as toys and ended up becoming part of the global pop culture fabric. 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. A big reason we got such top tier voice talent is because people genuinely want to be a part of this world. 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. 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.
Smith speaks of “top-tier voice talent,” and he’s certainly not wrong. The cast boasts such well-known names as Mark Hamill as Skeletor, Lena Headey as Evil-Lyn, Chris Wood as Prince Adam/He-Man, Sarah Michelle Gellar as Teela, Liam Cunningham as Man-At-Arms, Stephen Root as Cringer, Diedrich Bader as King Randor/Trap Jaw, Griffin Newman as Orko, Tiffany Smith as Andra, Henry Rollins as Tri-Klops, Alicia Silverstone as Queen Marlena, Justin Long as Roboto, Jason Mewes as Stinkor, Phil LaMarr as He-Ro, Tony Todd as Scare Glow, and more. The series even welcomes back Alan Oppenheimer, who voiced the original Skeletor; he’ll now be voicing Moss Man.
The new series, which premieres on July 23rd, will pick up directly where the old series left off, as Smith explains:
Narratively our show is set up as the next episode in the legacy ‘80s animated series that aired from 1983-1985. 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.
Tony Schaab is a freelance pop-culture writer in addition to being an award-winning author and best-selling review critic, with his book series “The G.O.R.E. Score: A Review Guide to All Things Zombie” being an 8-time #1 best-seller (Amazon Kindle, Pop Culture chart, 2012-2017). Working as a DJ and Master of Ceremonies since 1999, he has performed MC/DJ work for the NFL, MTV, NBA, Wizard World Comic Con, PGA, IndyCar, and countless private events. Tony lives in Indianapolis with his wife, 11-year-old daughter, 3-year-old son, and two rambunctious rescue dogs. Learn more about Tony at TonySchaab.com and chat him up on Twitter @TonySchaab.