The Masters of the Universe will be reborn on Netflix, with Kevin Smith helming.
One wouldn’t think that 2019 would be a year in which we would see the return of the Masters of the Universe. After all, this is a time in which masculinity is seen as toxic, and the main character is named He-Man. What is Netflix thinking?
My first reaction, is that this will be terrible. Netflix has made no secret their push for certain “woke” political agenda. He-Man on Netflix? That sounds all bad. But then, there is some good news. And that good news is Kevin Smith.
Kevin Smith, became a legend with Clerks, then essentially destroyed his own legendary status with a series of movies which…. well… his followers really liked. More recently, amongst intermittent movies and directing gigs on Supergirl, Kevin Smith has made a career as a podcaster, and that is where he really shines. I’m a long-time listener of Kevin Smith, and one thing you can be sure of with him, is that he is a true fan. He is not one to simply grab a paycheck, instead choosing to work on properties which he himself looks at with a childlike fondness.
Maybe, just maybe, there may be hope for He-Man.
The new series will be helmed by Kevin Smith and his long time podcasting partner Marc Bernardin. Bernardin is no slouch himself, having been an entertainment columnist and television writer himself working on such properties as Hulu’s Castle Rock which takes place in the Stephen King horror universe. Listeners of the duo’s podcast Fatman Beyond will know that Bernardin has a knack for coming up with story ideas that often top what we see in film.
The series is planned to take up where the old series left off. A continuation instead of a reboot? That’s just the way it should be. Kudos to all involved in that decision.
There are three ways in which I can see this developing.
What I want: Smith and Bernardin are given complete creative control. We see a grown up version of these larger than life barbarians. We see the previous cartoon as a story being told to children, which violently transitions when a battle interrupts the story time. The purple pants and cutesy images of my childhood are replaced with modern and realistic animation.
Let’s get real. These are people fighting with swords. There shall be blood.
We see the completion of the story. He-Man vs Skeletor with their armies falling in the battle. A final winner, and the power of Grayskull is finally revealed.
What I fear: Folks, I just got done watching the return of Rocko’s Modern Life. What was once a campy fun cartoon with liberal doses of adult humor, had been turned into a life lesson about transsexuals. Now, don’t get me wrong. I say let people be people, but when I’m settling in for a bit of humorous nostalgia, the last thing I want, is to be beaten about the head with today’s headlines.
That is what I fear for Netflix’s take on He-Man. I can easily see the return that we children of the 90’s have been waiting for, to turn into a life lesson in male toxic masculinity. And that is simply something I don’t need.
What I predict: Creative differences. We see numerous properties scooped up, only to never see the light of day. This particular property has managed to garner it’s fair share of headlines on a lazy Sunday afternoon, however nothing is ever done, until it’s done.
In this corner we have Smith and Bernardin, two actual fans with a wealth of geek-cred. Two folks who we can count on to stay true to the source material while weaving their own story. In that corner, we have Netflix. Netflix has been very public with their progressive political agenda, and have no problem trampling on content to push that agenda.
Who will win in the end? Hopefully Smith, Bernardin, the fans, and the characters many of us loved in the 80’s. And hopefully not the woke Netflix executives who see content as a way to spread their own beliefs.