Kevin Smith, the creator of the upcoming Masters of the Universe: Revelation animated series on Netflix, recently attempted to assuage fan fears about the show.
The fan fears about the show revolve around Netflix’s official description of the series as well as a rumor claiming that the show would sideline He-Man for Teela.
Back in 2019 at Power Con, the show was announced by Kevin Smith. Not only was the show announced, but an official description was also revealed.
The description read, “A radical return to Eternia, REVELATION is a direct sequel series to the classic era of MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE. Featuring fan favorites He-Man, Orko, Cringer, and Man-At-Arms, the story pits our heroic warriors and guardians of Castle Grayskull against Skeletor, Evil-Lyn, Beast Man and the vile legions of Snake Mountain!
It added, “But after a ferocious final battle forever fractures Eternia, it’s up to Teela to solve the mystery of the missing Sword of Power in a race against time to prevent the end of the Universe! Her journey will uncover the secrets of Grayskull at last. This is the epic He-Man and the Masters of the Universe saga fans have waited 35 years to see!”
Following this description, YouTubers Clownfish TV took to Twitter in March 2020 to share a scoop they received from an alleged insider.
They wrote, “My understanding of Kevin Smith’s He-Man series from an alleged insider… Teela is a better He-Man than Adam, and he steps aside to let her (and her girlfriend) take over Hero duties.”
They added, “If true…this won’t play well.”
Smith addressed the rumor at the time on Twitter.
He wrote, “As showrunner, I really could’ve used these story suggestions *before* we locked the scripts.”
He added, “However, no – He-Man does no stepping aside and Teela has no girlfriend in our show.”
He then concluded, “The storyline is pretty dark and way metal. Before REVELATION we were calling it END OF THE UNIVERSE.”
In a subsequent tweet, Smith wrote, “Also, Clownfish TV? Instead of posting your faux ‘insider’ info, here’s a *real* story: Mattel made a behind-the-scenes video featuring our actors recording. So a fan took some of Mark & Lena’s dialogue and spliced them into old Filmation clips.”
Then in May 2020, ScreenRant ran a report claiming that He-Man would not be the main protagonist. They claimed, “One major difference is that though He-Man will certainly be around, he won’t be the main protagonist anymore. Instead, the focus will be on Teela.”
They added, “Even so, He-Man should still have a large presence, since the series never did get to explore the final battle between He-Man and his greatest enemy, Skeletor.”
Smith would also respond to this report.
He wrote on Twitter, “With all due respect to ScreenRant, I’ve read every Masters of the Universe: Revelation script for our shows (plus wrote a few) and viewed 4 amazing animatics. While Teela is as present as she’s always been in the MotU adventures and she plays a big role, our series is LITERALLY all about He-Man.”
Despite Smith countering the rumors, the official description would remain similar. In May 2021 when Netflix revealed a first look at a number of screenshots featuring a number of characters from the show, they also released a new description.
It read, “After a cataclysmic battle between He-Man and Skeletor, Eternia is fractured and the Guardians of Grayskull are scattered.”
It continues, “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.”
As part of this promotion, Smith would also state that “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.”
He continued, “We’re playing with the original mythology and characters, and revisiting and digging deeper into some of the unresolved storylines.”
Vice President of Content Creative at Mattel Television Rob David would even note this new series would pick up right where the 80s series left off.
He explained, “Fans who followed the adventures of He-Man and his friends in the eighties will feel like they are picking up the story where the characters left off.”
He then provided some details about the first episode and echoed that the story will follow Teela, “In our first episode, a cataclysmic battle between He-Man and Skeletor leaves Eternia fractured and the Guardians of Grayskull scattered throughout the land. Now it’s up to Teela to reunite the broken band of heroes and ultimately prevent the end of the universe.”
More recently, Smith appeared on Netflix’s Geeked Week Day 4 presentation, which aired on June 10, 2021, where he discussed the show.
During his appearance Smith stated, “Our version of Masters of the Universe: Revelation was meant to address all the characters and storylines from the old show and bring it into the present. So if you were a kid back then, every day after school watching the cartoon, it’s almost like this is a continuation of that cartoon.”
He continued, “We pick up, kind of spiritually, where He-Man and the Masters of the Universe left off. So at the beginning of our first episode, it plays for the first 10 minutes like a slightly or way better animated version of the animated show. It’s very simple. We establish the relationships. It’s a very warm and young feeling.”
“And then about half way through the show we turn everything. Something happens and we kind of grow it up. And starting where we start by teeing off from the old show, just picking up where they left off gives it more dramatic thrust because these were characters that were bathed in innocence. And in our story that innocence gets lost along the way,” he added.
Smith would go on to detail his He-Man viewing habits, “When I was a kid, I’d watch He-Man and the Masters of the Universe when I got home from school from 1981 to 82 when I got home it was a ritual.”
However, in a tweet from 2010 Smith claimed he wasn’t a big fan of the show. He wrote, “I wasn’t a He-Man fan, but Gallery 1988 is running an awesome MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE art show. LOOK!”
Later in the Geeked Week video, Smith would eventually describe what the Revelation in the title of Masters of the Universe: Revelation means.
He explained, “Revelation in the title – Masters of the Universe: Revelation – refers to Teela’s journey. Teela finds out something about her that was hinted at in the old legacy show. And that’s a kernel that we blew out and really played with in this show.”
He continued, “So the revelation in question really has to do with Teela. And that’s because, if you remember the old show, at the very beginning, they would talk about, ‘Only three others know his secret.’ And it was like, the Sorceress, Man-At-Arms, and Orko, as well as Cringer.”
He went on to add, “Teela, who He-Man fought [with] side-by-side, and Teela, who protected Adam when he wasn’t He-Man, was always left out of that. She was kept in the dark like Lois Lane. So our approach for the story was like, ‘Well, what happens if she finds out? What happens when she learns who He-Man really is? And what if she learned that not at him confessing it?’ It wasn’t him going, ‘You know what, I think you can handle this.’ It was by way of the adventure, of the epic. Something happens that kind of breaks everybody’s world and all the revelations are revealed.”
As you can see the descriptions and Smith’s appearance on Geeked Week still put Teela front and center following this battle between He-Man and Skeletor and that has left fans fearful about the show.
Smith attempted to assuage those fears in his most recent FatMan Beyond show.
He stated, “Once you see the story trailer, kids, everything will make absolute sense. Anyone going like, ‘I heard it’s this…’ You are going to go, ‘Oh! I see.'”
Smith elaborated, “I love the story trailer because there is a line in the trailer, that comes straight out of the show, that literally puts it all on front street where you go, ‘Oh!'”
Smith went on to say, “It’s been tough for me because I’m always incredibly f***ing forthright and honest and stuff. But I can only go so far and I can’t say some things that would dispel a lot of chatter because I’m not allowed.”
“Like literally not allowed to spoil the f***ing thing. I don’t want to lose this job. I like this f***ing job,” he added.
He then reiterated that sentiment, “So I can’t say one or two things that would just kind of wave away a lot of people going, ‘Well, I hear it is this.'”
Later on, Smith would address the original rumor from Clownfish TV. He stated, “That is patently untrue. There is not a single part of that…”
Marc Bernardin, who also worked on the show as a writer claimed, “What was tweeted and alleged is a falsehood.”
Smith then reiterated, “That description is patently unf***ing true. Untrue.”
Smith And Bernardin would then address the report from ScreenRant again. Bernardin would state, “Yes, the show is all about He-Man.”
Smith would then state, “I’m responding to something that was written, and I swear to you, what was written was patently untrue. Doesn’t resemble our show one iota. So, I don’t know what else I can say.”
Smith would double down again saying, “That tweet going back to March was absolute misinformation. And some people are like, ‘Well, I’ve seen the synopsis of the show.’ I’m like, ‘Great! Does it sound like that tweet? Because that’s not the show.'”
Smith then stated, “You know what don’t matter. When the story trailer goes out there then people will be like, ‘Oh! That’s….!”
More recently, an interview with Smith was published by io9 where they claimed to have discussed the show with him back in May.
In this interview io9, because they are io9, asked “if making a show about and starring, someone that’s so hyper-masculine he literally has two man-names posed any challenges in a more inclusive, understanding society.”
Smith answered, “Good news about He-Man and the Masters of the Universe. Yes, of course, He-Man was [the] main character, but every episode it was He -Man and the Masters of the Universe. It was a team-oriented show that was not just He-Man.”
The showrunner and creator continued, “You got Teela, you got your Man-at-Arms, you got your Orko, you got your Cringer, your Sorceress. So they were always fairly widely cast in terms of gender. One of your top villains was Evil-Lyn. He-Man is the Sorceress’ champion technically—he serves the Sorceress and the power of Grayskull.”
“Teela was there to protect him as Adam and of course, doesn’t know that he’s He-Man and whatnot. So we didn’t feel going in like, ‘Oh, man. Now we got to explain what these cats did in the ‘80s.’ They actually did a pretty good job of explaining it themselves or making it at least boy and girl friendly,” he added.
Smith then went on to discuss the race of the characters on both shows, “Now the difference is it was an awfully white show back then and that’s something we felt like we needed to update a bit.”
“Masters of the Universe had one black character in Clamp Champ, who naturally evolved in our show as well. But we felt like we were able to diversify the world of Masters of the Universe a bit more than the original was,” he continued.
He then specifically talked about the race-swapped Andra, “She’s our way into the show for the people who don’t know the show.”
Smith continued, “In the show itself, she’s the one that’s kind of outside of the previous mythology a little bit… She represents the wide-eyed wonder of the audience in as much as she’s the character that has not dealt with the mythology of Eternia. She’s never met He-Man or Skeletor or been to Castle Grayskull.”
“She’s just somebody who lives on Planet Eternia outside of Eternos. So, by way of our story, she’s our audience’s eyes into that world. She reacts with the same amount of wonder that we hope our audience reacts with as they watch the show. So, there are moments like that where we get to diversify more than they did in the ‘80s,” he concluded.
What do you make of Smith’s recent comments? Do they assuage any fears about the show you have or had?