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Netflix and Kevin Smith Stream He-Man

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Kevin Smith ventures from New Jersey to Eternia.

The Red Bank-born, Highland-raised podcast filmmaker, author and impresario behind the View Askew cinematic universe introduced in “Clerks” in 1994 is now the executive producer and showrunner of “Masters of the Universe: Revelation”, the latest opus of the He -Homme saga.

After decades largely devoted to telling his own stories, Smith is playing with someone else’s toys for the Netflix and Mattel Television animated series, with all five episodes of the first part of “Masters of the Universe: Revelation” arriving on the streaming service Friday.

“In my day job, I can tell my stories, make up my stuff,” Smith said. “And it’s very, incredibly rewarding… but long before I wanted to be a person who did things – it didn’t really start until later in life – I was a person who consumed things. . I was brought up by television. “

Susan Eisenberg as the voice of the witch and Chris Wood as He-Man in "Masters of the Universe: Revelation."

Conceived as a continuation of the story begun in the original “He-Man and the Masters of the Universe” series which aired from 1983 to 1985, “Revelation” is the culmination of a fandom that began for Smith, now 50 years old. , when he was 13.

“I would be like, ‘This show is for babies,’ but I watched every episode,” Smith said. “I would complain that they never fought, but I watched every episode because Skeletor is a badass character and the characters were memorable. I knew the mythology, so much so that when Mattel came along. Calling me, I was like, ‘Oh, actually, I know a lot about the’ Masters of the Universe ‘.’ “

Dante and Randal return: Kevin Smith will be filming “Clerks III” in New Jersey this summer.

He wasn’t collecting iconic action figures back then – “We were a little poor and my parents were like, ‘We’ve already spent money on’ Star Wars’ toys,” he explained – but he has become incredibly familiar with the franchise.

“Although I’ve been able to create my own stuff for almost 30 years now, playing someone else’s characters appeals to the kid who grew up watching that stuff,” he said. “The guy who would sit there and laugh at the episodes at 13 now has a chance to put his money where his mouth is. After all this time of ‘They should be fighting’ it’s like ‘Awesome , here’s your chance: make them fight. ‘ “

Mark Hamill as the voice of Skeletor, left, and Chris Wood as He-Man in "Masters of the Universe: Revelation."

With a voice cast that includes Mark Hamill as the skull-faced villainous Skeletor, Lena Headey of “Game of Thrones” fame as magical antagonist Evil-Lyn and “Supergirl” actor Chris Wood As He-Man and his alter-ego Prince Adam, “Revelation” draws on a rich well of storytelling and fan affection as the fate of Eternia’s world hangs in the balance.

Smith explained the inspiration he drew from another long series of superheroic sagas for his work on “Revelation”.

“As a student of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and a fan, a huge fan as well, I know the joy of… re-consuming my childhood favorites, subjecting them to a different recipe and the prism of modern times,” did he declare. “That’s what Marvel does with these movies. I know all these stories, I read them growing up and absolutely loved them. Now I can love them again.

“Like I said in the writers room,… ‘We marvel at this, man. Basically it’s all true – don’t disown a thing. Don’t talk to the viewer. Every episode they remember. Every time that’ they played with their friends in their room with their toys, any iteration of “Masters of the Universe” is canon. Everything counts and now we just need to add one more department. ‘ “

Kevin Michael Richardson as the voice of Beast Man, left to right, Tiffany Smith as Andra, Chris Wood as Prince Adam, Sarah Michelle Gellar as Teela and Lena Headey as Evil-Lyn in "Masters of the Universe: Revelation."

Smith and his “Revelation” team devote a great deal of storytelling effort to exploring the lives and dynamics of the “Masters of the Universe” character set who have typically served as supporting players for He-Man.

“He-Man is in the foreground, but you have a rich set of characters you can play with, whose stories are also compelling and interesting,” Smith said. “We were like, ‘Let’s tell a He-Man story, but that allows us to put all of his supporting characters in the foreground and (with) Teela, of course, in the center of our concerns.

Sarah Michelle Gellar shines as Teela, a warrior who protects Prince Adam and fights alongside He-Man without knowing they are one.

“Part of the opening of this (original) show was this big lie, that only certain people know this secret (identity),” Smith said. “And that’s literally everyone (who knows) except Teela.”

Those years of deception were then combined by Smith and his editorial team with an unresolved common thread from almost 40 years ago “which told us emphatically that Teela is destined for a lot more, and she’s related to someone. ‘one on this show, that they never really dove into the depths. “

“I am a nostalgic”

Smith and company will celebrate the release of Part 1 of the series with “Masters of the Universe: Revelation Celebration!” fan gathering from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, July 24 and Sunday, July 25 at his Jay and Silent Bob’s Secret Stash comic book store in Red Bank.

Tickets, $ 65, include a poster, t-shirt, comic book, and photoshoot with Smith and series co-stars Jason Mewes and Griffin Newman, who voiced Stinkor and Orko, respectively. The first 50 children aged 10 and under in attendance will also receive a free Masters of the Universe toy from Mattel.

Newman, an actor who appeared in the recent reboot series “The Tick” and co-host of the story podcast of the film “Blank Check”, will also appear as a special guest during a live recording of the movie. Smith and Marc Bernardin’s “Fatman Beyond” podcast. recording at 7 p.m. Saturday at Smith’s SModcastle Theater in the Leonardo section of Middletown.

For Smith – whose recent small-screen efforts included seven seasons of the AMC reality series “Comic Book Men” and directing episodes of the CW’s DC Comics-inspired series “The Flash” and “Supergirl” – featuring Charge an animated action-fantasy epic isn’t as much of a start as it initially seems.

A grand pre-apocalyptic ensemble adventure rich in themes of loss, regret, and strained family relationships rendered with a warm nostalgic feeling but not without criticism, “Revelation” seems like the best possible combination of “Zack Snyder’s Justice League” and Smith’s own reflection, metatextual comedy “Jay and Silent Bob Reboot.”

Sarah Michelle Gellar as the voice of Teela, left, and Lena Headey as Evil-Lyn in "Masters of the Universe: Revelation."

“I noticed a few years ago that all of my business is now based on the past,” he said. “I’m a nostalgic, for some reason. I’ve been nostalgic since I was 9, I always looked back – it was always better then. So now, like ‘Comic Book Men’ (was) entirely based on nostalgia My last film, ‘Jay and Silent Bob Reboot’, and I hope my next film, ‘Clerks III’, was based on the past, nostalgia.

“When I worked with the CW to do these shows, the same thing,…” Oh, those are the books, the characters that I grew up with. “” Masters of the universe “same thing. So I’m of legal age at this point, they know I’m a professional so they can trust me with time and money and stuff, but more importantly , they know I’m still a fanboy. I’ve never grown out of that stuff. “

Alex Biese has been writing about local and national art, entertainment, culture and current affairs for over 15 years.

“Masters of the Universe: Revelation” debuts on Netflix on Friday, July 23. For more information visit netflix.com/mastersoftheuniverserevelation.


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