Comic-Con@Home was the next stop on director and "Uber-Geek" Kevin Smith's "update caravan" for his upcoming anime sequel Masters of the Universe: Revelation. Over the past several months, Smith and writers Marc Bernardin (Castle Rock), Eric Carrasco (Supergirl), Diya Mishra (October Faction), and Tim Sheridan (The Death and Return of Superman); the cast, and animation studio Powerhouse (Castlevania) have been hard at work returning to Eternia- and it sounds like things are going great. Now, Smith is offering a whole lot of love (and details) on just how well things are going.
"Okay, for you MOTU fans, those of you who are like, 'where is the Masters of the Universe series?' So those that don't even know I've been working on a show for Mattel and Netflix called Masters of the Universe: Revelations and it's a follow up to the old show we saw the 80s- the show everybody knows. This is the cartoon everybody grew up with and stuff so it's not us reinventing it. It's not going like, 'everything you knew about a man is wrong.' It's literally as if we're just telling the next story in that series of stories, man, and our story is very big and connected and stuff, broken in chapters. But I'm telling you this thing- when I took the job, I was like 'man, I hope we do it justice.'
Smith has seen some of the "phenomenal" and "stunning" animatics from Powerhouse Animation, so impressive in fact that Smith says is would release what he's seen as is. That said, Smith also revealed that he's seen the more detailed graphic and painted work and that he's "seen where we are headed and it is beautiful." But his love wasn't just reserved for Powerhouse, taking a moment to give props to Rob David from Mattel, who he says has been "absolutely lovely to deal with." A large part of that has to do with David wearing two hats: as a Mattel representative as well as a writer with experience in the MOTU franchise (making him "creatively useful" and someone who "adds to the whole thing").
Next up, some appreciation for the streaming service that ordered the project to series. "Over at Netflix, Ted Biaselli, God blessed him as the greatest Ted in the world as far as I'm concerned, I didn't really think it through but I can't think of many better Ted's than him." Smith appreciated that Ted Biaselli not only has an appreciation for MOTU, but also for pop culture geekdom overall ("he loves toys so all of his Instagram are all of his action figures collection"
But it was a conversation Smith had with Biaselli about how much He-Man meant to Biaselli that made the difference: "When I met him, he said, 'Look, I loved Batman as a kid. I love Star Wars. But MOTU- Masters of the Universe- that was my religion. Like, that was my number one." For Biaselli, it was his fear that He-Man would be killed by Skeletor that gave the series a sense of there being "stakes" or consequences to what he was watching. What he wants Smith to do is give kids that same feeling when they watch Masters of the Universe: Revelation: "He said, 'All I'm asking you to do is tell a story that makes me feel like I felt when I was a kid again, make me feel invested in these characters. I want to feel scared for him, I want to feel there are stakes."
With a promise to Biaselli to treat the franchise "like Shakespeare," Smith, the writers, and Powerhouse Animation forged ahead – and that's when Smith unveiled some "unofficial" Skeletor artwork from writer Tim Sheridan that he created as a git for when production wrapped. "I think you're gonna enjoy watching it. I can't thank the good folks who let me play in this playground enough." Smith then went on to credit the writing team for all of their efforts, including his podcast partner Bernardin, Carrasco, Mishra, and Sheridan: "they elevated everything." Smith wrapped up discussing MOTU with a promise to fans that next year's Comic-Con will include: "a very serious He-Man discussion with images to look at that are officially from the show and stuff."