Here is a REDACTED version of the second part of our Masters of the Universe: Revelation Kevin Smith Interview. You can read the first part here. Our spoiler free review will be out tomorrow and the full interview will be released next week.
Masters of the Universe: Revelation releases this Friday, July 23, 2021 on Netflix.
Joseph Deckelmeier (Screen Rant): Hey, Kevin. So you’ve accomplished your goal. I have a six-year-old here and we love the show… We’ve I’ve seen it in our household three times in its entirety. It’s amazing.
Kevin Smith: You’re gonna make me cry man!
Joseph Deckelmeier (Screen Rant): Me and my best friend… we’ve known each other for 30 years. We also watched together because we had this experience with He-Man together. So we were geeking out, originally, with everything together. But the one question I did have, you immediately hooked me in when I saw Tri-Klops and Motherboard. Like when you guys had Tri-Klops in there, I was all on board. But Merman, played by Kevin Conroy, and you have Skeletor played by Mark Hamill. How did that all come together? That’s such an iconic moment and seeing them on the same side too.
Kevin Smith: I know! It’s so weird and it’s weird hearing them voice at each other but not in the roles that you’re used them doing. Mark of course was one of the first people we thought about for Skeletor but he was real pie in the sky. Like I don’t know if we’ll get him. Like they asked me to like you know, you work with him I was like, ‘I did. Butjust recently, I made a Jay and Silent Bob reboot and I asked him to come be in it and he couldn’t do it because he was making some star fucking thing.’ So I don’t know that I’m your ticket to getting Mark. The ticket to getting Mark was just saying Skeletor. Because Mark had this affection going back to not when he was a child, but when he had children. So Mark tells a story about like in 19 -December 81 or 82- he’s like ‘I spent one month calling every Mattel exec on the planet to try to secure a Castle Grayskull for my kid.’ So for him, there was a nostalgic connection to the material, even if you didn’t watch every episode. And also, he was just like, the chance to play Skeletor, like one of the most famous bad guys in all history in all media history. And he was talking about slowing down if not stopping voiceover work. And he said he’s like, ‘When they offered me Skeletor like I had to go for it.’ And stuff. So getting him was was great. And you know, part of it was like, I know Kevin and stuff. I like to think in my heart of hearts, that he was like, ‘Well I couldn’t do the reboot, so I’ll do this.’ You know? Or something like I I owe him. But I doubt it’s that. I really think it had to do with the fact that he loved- Look, Mark loves to chew the scenery. And Skeletor is very dramatic. Like you get to do the Joker to the 10th degree.
So getting him was wonderful. And then once we had him as we were casting, like we had Merman, and I was like what if we got Batman to play Merman? I know Kevin very well, I’ve had him on our podcast of Fatman on Batman. He was in Yoga Hoser as well, in a bit part and stuff. So we reached out and he was like, ‘Oh my god, I’d absolutely love to!’ So being able to bring those two dudes together, you know, on our set, so to speak. That’s just fanboy stuff, fangirl stuff if you’re a woman, But for in my case, fanboy stuff where you’re like, ‘Oh my god!’ Like I- you know? Batman the Animated Series was not even really part of my childhood as much as a part of my adulthood by the time it aired. I was kind of heading toward adulthood and stuff like that. But, you know, I remain a big fan of this stuff and being able to like have the bragging rights of like, or be a bar question of like ‘Name the only other cartoon where Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamill, play opposite one another.’ You know? That’s me. Like I don’t do shit for the money. I don’t do shit to win awards. Like I do shit for weird easter eggs and bragging rights like that. And like to be a trivia question, based on smart casting would be a dream come true. But working with those guys again, both of whom I’d worked with before, I tended to bring a lot of people in like I’d worked with Diedrich Bader before. I’d worked with Tiffany [Smith] before. I’d worked with Chris [Wood] before. Stephen Root. You know? A lot of folks. Jason Mewes. I think I’ve worked with him in the past. So you know, generally I was like, ‘Hey man, we’re having a show -we’re putting on a show. It’s cartoon. You guys want play?’ And nobody said no. Like, everybody dove in for different reasons. But most of it came from people being like, ‘I have some sentimental or nostalgic connection to this material.’ Either, ‘I watched it,’ or. ‘It’ss a big part of my kids’ lives.’
Joseph Deckelmeier (Screen Rant): Thank you.
Kevin Smith: Thank you. Thanks for watching it three times. Fuck That’s awesome.
Joseph Deckelmeier (Screen Rant): I didn’t let him watch that fifth episode, though. He has to watch that on Netflix when it comes out live. He’s not gonna get to watch that fifth episode.
Kevin Smith: It’s gonna blow people’s minds. People are gonna -we’re always wondering, are people going to be mad? I think they’re going to be mad. Not because of what we did. But because we don’t have an episode after that. Like, that’s what’s gonna irritate people. Like, ‘You son of a bitch! You can’t go out like that!’ But that’s how they do. They do that in movies. I’ve gone to movies my whole life, and when they’re doing a series of shit, the fucking one movie ends on a cliffhanger. And so you’ve got to go back. So I was like, I’m gonna steal that formula. It’s not -it’s not a -you know -I didn’t invent anything. I just borrowed from everybody.
Ray Flook (Bleeding Cool): First, Kevin, congratulations with the series. I have been tracking your excitement from the moment it was announced. So for you, I think we’re all excited for just how well it’s turned out. One question with two little mini parts to it. When/once the work got underway, was there ever a moment in it early on where you pause and had one of those, ‘Oh, shit, I’m really doing this and continuing the story.’ And on those lines, in that production, was there ever a moment where you sat back and went, ‘Yeah, I think we might just be getting this.’
Kevin Smith: I honestly even now, I still don’t know if we got it. Because that’s all predicated on the audience, right? It’s like, there’s how you feel about the work. And then there’s how you feel about the work after everyone consumes the work. So you know, if you talked to me before Yoga Hoser came out, I’d be like, ‘Oh, best movie I’ve ever made.’ Then after the world told me what it was. I was like, ‘Well, perhaps it wasn’t.’ So I can’t say even now that I’m like, ‘Oh, man! We nailed it!’ But I know this much. I’ve been watching this shit obsessively. Since they’ve been sending me things. I mean, I wrote the story, wrote scripts, and then saw the animatic, saw the finished animation. So the animation with Bears amazing score involved, recorded the voices. So I was there every step of the way. And many times, you know, I get up with a J -I mean, it sounds ridiculous, but on brand- but I generally get up around 420 every day. And so there were days where I didn’t have things do I wasn’t writing my own project or something. The few times where I had free time, instead of surfing the internet, I would literally just go back and rewatch the episodes. And like, you know, I like when you make a movie, you watch it over and over and over again. And by the time it’s ready to come out, you’re like, I’m done seeing it. This, I could watch over and over and over again. It just grabbed me, like emotionally. Like, every time. I like the key moments, the key depth still makes me cry, and I came up with them. I know they’re coming. But it doesn’t matter. Like, for me it’s dream come true stuff to watch the smallest weakest character, the character that most people are like, ‘Ugh!’ about, face down ■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■
And that, to me is the heart of heroism. I’ve been reading this shit since I was a kid -not just Masters of the Universe, but comic book superheroes- because of that notion. The notion that like in the moment that the worst thing in the world that’s happening, that everybody is running from, there’s one, or a couple of people, dressed in very colorful costumes, heading straight at it. And that’s the moment we gave, ■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■. And so stuff like that. When I saw that, even when in script form, like coming up with that beat. I was like, ‘Oh, that’s gonna be great.’ Tim wrote that script. Seeing it written out like how it played out like, ‘Oh my god! It’s breathtaking.’ ■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■ record it -and ■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■ is like a secret weapon and a half- he does that voice without any help, you don’t process it or anything. ■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■
■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■ for the original cartoon back in the day, but he recorded and they put him through filters and shit. ■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■ could just do the voice, like he didn’t get put through a filter, you just like put it on. ■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■ So moments like that, where I was like, ‘Oh my god, like, I love it’. Like, and when you love something a lot, It’ll power you through. Because, you know, I’ve made some shit people don’t love. And as long as you love it, it’ll get you where you need to go.
Like I always say to myself at the end of every project, generally two things, and whether they succeed or fail. And in my case, most of the time, this is after failure. I say, ‘You wanted this. Oh my god, you wanted this. You changed life so that this could happen. You looked for millions of dollars and you got people to change their schedules and come to a place to make pretend for you. You wanted this so don’t fucking sell out on it.’ Because I remember when Mallrats tanked when I was a kid, I was like, ‘Oh, I’m sorry.’ Like, I’ve turned my back on the movie for a while. Now, Mallrats is like my most beloved movie. So I learned early on like fucking like, just because it don’t work in the moment, don’t mean it won’t work in the future. The second thing I say to myself after I’m done with something is like, ‘What was the alternative? What were you gonna do? If you didn’t do this fucking thing it’ll eat at you like a cancer. Because you know, you could pull it off.’ Same thing here with Masters of the Universe. If I hadn’t done it, even though I’d never done this sort of thing, this exact thing before, I’ve done versions of it. I’ve done some episodic, I’ve done some fantasy storytelling with like Dogma. I’ve you know, I’ve done comic books and stuff. But putting them all together in one place. I’d never done it. But I felt like, if I could just hit key moments, like, as long as I’m happy, as long as I feel like that’s a beautiful fucking story, then I can kind of deal with it. The nice thing is when other people start reacting to it. Like, all day long I’ve been hearing from people who have actually seen it. And you are the people we’ve been thinking about. We don’t know what you look like, but for the last two years we’ve designed it for use, for user friendly, for it to be user-friendly, for fan service. That it would be something that would be embraced. We didn’t want to challenge the audience and be like, ‘Everything you know about fucking He-Man is wrong!’ Basically, we’re like, ‘Everything you know about all that shit was absolutely right. This is just what happened, the next day. You know? When something bad happened and shit went wrong.’ But it was -I still to this moment, I don’t want to count my chickens. You know what I’m saying? Like, I feel pretty good about it. I hope the rest of the world embraces it like I have, like as much as I love it. But I’ll be honest with you, I love it so much that even if the rest of the world shit on it, I’d be like, ‘You know what? Then I’m an idiot. Because that’s the exact story that I wanted to tell. And it still moves me to this day.’ So we’ll see. I guess we’ll know if we’re successful if we ever get to season two. But we don’t find out about that -they told us- until they drop it and then three weeks after they look at the algorithm and that’s when they decide whether something gets re-upped and stuff. So fingers crossed enough people watch it. I mean, that’s the sad thing. It’s like, even if people hate it, if they watch it, we’ll probably get to season two. And then I could be like, let me repair all the shit I did wrong that you didn’t like. Hopefully
Ray Flook (Bleeding Cool): Kevin, thank you so much.
Kevin Smith: Thank you. Another Kevin!
Kevin Fenix (FanboyNation): Haha, yeah. Thanks for being here. I love the series as well. I wasn’t the biggest He-Man fan, but now I’m a lot more invested after watching the series.
Kevin Smith: That’s good. That’s a good sign. Thank you.
Kevin Fenix (FanboyNation): So you were talking a little bit earlier about easter eggs and my favorite easter egg from the episodes we got was Wun-Dar.
Kevin Smith: Wow!
Kevin Fenix (FanboyNation): And I was wondering what’s your favorite easter egg? And how important do you think it is for you and the fans that easter eggs are included?
Kevin Smith: Easter eggs are a big part of our culture, as we all know. Like it’s one thing to enjoy a thing as presented, it’s another thing to be able to enjoy the “Inside Baseball” of it all and that’s something that, my whole career, they always tried to beat out of me. Because you know, I connected the movies back in the day and like they’re all in the View Askew Universe. And I remember whoever I worked with, like the studio’s whether it be Miramax, Universal, or “The Weinstein Company,” they were always like, ‘You got to stop putting in references to your other movies and stuff like that.’
And I’m like, ‘Why?’
And they’re like, ‘Because only a few people find it funny, the people have seen the other movies. What if you got people in the audience that never saw those other movies?’
And I was like, ‘Well, hopefully they’ll enjoy the movie we’re presenting. But hopefully, the people who did enjoy the previous stuff -that, that shit -we didn’t call it easter eggs back then- But it’s like that shits in there for them.’
And that’s to reward them for like, ‘Hey, man, if you saw that other flick, here’s another joke within the inside of this flick.’
So I’ve been doing that like for years, but they’d always try to beat it out of me. They’re always just like, ‘Oh, that’s so alienating.’ Now, that’s all anybody wants! They want everything connected, man. Everyone’s trying to find a way to build like a universe and stuff like that. So as we went into this, there’s certain easter eggs that we definitely knew that we were going to throw in. Like Rob David, who’s our executive at Mattel, who’s like, just -it’s a shame to call him the exec but that is his job, but he’s as creative as any writer or any of the artists who’ve worked on this. Rob, when I gave him my story was just like, ‘This is great. All I ask is that you put ■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■ in it.’
And I was like, ‘Get out of here!’
And he was like, ‘We never like -it’s a legendary toy that nobody really got to have and like to be able to put it in there would be something special.’
■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■ was the first easter egg. The second easter egg going in was of course ■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■. We wanted to do that because this is a character that never got to be in the cartoons. Same with Stinkor, and same with Scare Glow. So going into it, we knew there were elements that had been made like, yeah, there’s a Scare Glow figure, but he was never in the legacy of the classic cartoon. We knew that bringing those in would be fanservice-y moments. And then repurposing Scare Glow into ■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■, so to speak. Like suddenly you take a character that you know it doesn’t have many parameters because it hadn’t been defined in many other incarnations and, you know, you get a bit more freedom with the character and get to use the character that way. Did I –am I just blabbing? Did I hit it? Did I hit the answer?
Kevin Fenix (FanboyNation): You got it. Yeah!
Laura Nowak (We Are Entertainment News): Hi Kevin. I really enjoyed the sequel.
Kevin Smith: Thank you!
Laura Nowak (We Are Entertainment News): So I realized that while the sequel still has a lot to do with He-Man, it also had a lot to do with female empowerment, especially with Teela and Andra and Evil Lyn. How did you go about making that concept?
Kevin Smith: The idea going in was like in every episode He-Man and the Masters of the Universe, it was He-Man, and the Masters of the Universe. The heroic warriors he fought side by side with. And Teela is literally in every episode, as Evil lyn is literally in every episode. So we didn’t feel like, ‘Hey man, we’re doing something new.’ They did something new in the 80s. You know, the Sorceress is one of the most powerful characters in the entire Masters of the Universe universe and whatnot. So we felt like it was all just sitting there. But when they made the show back in the day, they weren’t thinking about adults by any stretch of the imagination, they were just thinking about kids. So with us going forward, we were like, like in this version, this iteration of the story where we take the two big figures, He-Man and Skeletor, ■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■
The two people who are most important in their lives are ■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■
And since like the lure of Masters o the Universe includes He-Man’s dual identity and how it was a secret from Teela, that just felt like rich drama. Like a rich vein to tap to be like,’She didn’t even know he lied to her. Everyone lied to her. These other people, her dad, lied to her. The fucking talking cat lied to her and stuff.’ So she’s been lied to her whole life and she’s given her whole life to this, to Eternos, to the palace, to the king and queen. And so that betrayal we felt like was like, ‘What a great jumping-off point for that character.’
■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■ she risked her life so many times and then finds out that she’s been lied to the entire time. ■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■ That to us was a rich vein to tap. And then conversely, since we were doing that with Teela, we get to do a flip side version with Evil Lyn. ■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■ I promise you, as interesting as it was for Evil Lyn in episodes one through five, her story in episodes six through 10 is one of my favorite things I’ve ever been involved with in my life. It is an insanely compelling story ■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■, like we really got to go deep with the character while never straying from the roots of like, ‘Yeah, there’s the show with the talking cabinet.’ Like, it was a balancing act that we were very cognizant of, just because the toys, you know, and the characters, some of them could be very colorful and very goofy, but it didn’t mean that we couldn’t approach them with like an adult storyline. And so it was important for two characters who, just like He-Man, was in every -just like Skeletor- in every episode of the classic show, we felt like what a great way to put them forward. You know? Particularly in this instance, and then suddenly, like they get the stage for a few episodes■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■, in those moments, we get to explore some shit with those characters that they never, never would have done before. Because they were making kid shows.
And in the next five episodes, oh my god, like where we get to go with the characters, particularly Evil Lyn, I’ll tell you -I’ll be honest- going into this Ted, who I talk about all the time, he’s a fucking Rockstar. Not because he gave me a job, although that was nice, but I’m telling you I just never meet execs -creative people- like creative execs. I never meet execs in the system who -you know- you can like them as a person, but like, generally speaking, their skills on the job are like, ‘You’re not creative. What are you doing? That’s gonna ruin it.’ So Teddy is the opposite man. He was like a co-writer. He’s like, you know, Jiminy Cricket. He was there the whole time. But Ted at one point, like we were chit-chatting. I was like, ‘Who’s your favorite character?’
And he’s like, ‘I love Evil Lyn.’
And I’m like, ‘What? Who?’
I said, ‘Nobody loves Evil Lyn. She’s nobody’s favorite character.’
He’s like, ‘I’ve always loved her as a kid. I think that character is incredible.’
So our version of Evil Lyn, like is Ted’s ultimate dream of what Evil Lyn was. Like insanely articulate, like a mind of her own, trapped in this horrible situation and whatnot. And so, you know, I would make fun of him in the beginning, like, ‘Evil Lyn is Ted’s favorite character.’ Evil Lyn is now my favorite character based on what we did with her and certainly based on Lena Headey’s performance, which is like off the charts wonderful. We were so nervous when she came in, because we were like, you know, ‘Do we ask her to do Cersei? Or is she going to be insulted If it’s like can she sound like Cersei?’ And instead, she gave us something so much more. Like Cersei was a wonderful character and her performance is great, but Cersei is just pretty much evil. All the way through and through. Here Lena gets to like start as evil and then play all these other nuances and by the time you get into Part Two if she don’t win an award for performance. the is no justice in this world.