As I’m sure you’re aware, almost every part of the entertainment industry has been severely affected by COVID-19. We’ve all had to get used to much-anticipated projects facing substantial delays. That doesn’t mean it isn’t painful when something we’re all looking forward is kicked back a year or so, though.
Fortunately, some seem to have come through unscathed and one such production is Kevin Smith’s Masters of the Universe: Revelation, which will be a direct sequel to the original 1980s series and will air on Netflix. In a recent interview, Smith was asked if the pandemic had hit them in any way and said:
“Yeah, we were uninterrupted by the quarantine because animation, the nature of it is such that you can do it from your house. So our two directors, even though Powerhouse Animation had to shut down their offices, they’re in Austin, Texas, everyone could still work. So we’re up to the animatics. I just watched the fifth animatic yesterday. It’s breathtaking. The animatics are incredibly bare. They’re a suggestion of what the cartoon will look like. Basically they’re digital storyboards, right? So you’re watching like a very thin lined black and white version of what the show will eventually be. If somebody has watched it without reading the script they might not know who is who and stuff. But if you’ve worked on the scripts, you can watch the animatic and your mind fills in any blanks.”
If they’re up to the animatics now, I expect we won’t see the show until early 2021, but it’s reassuring to know that the series hasn’t been unduly delayed by illness and the inconvenience of working from home.
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One reason I’m looking forward to this is the stellar voice cast Smith has assembled. Chris Wood and Mark Hamill (who’s coming out of voice-acting retirement) are playing He-Man and Skeletor, with support from Alicia Silverstone, Kevin Michael Richardson, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Kevin Conroy, Henry Rollins, Tony Todd, Phil LaMarr and Jason Mewes.
Further details are thin on the ground, though apparently this new show will take place in the aftermath of a ‘final battle’ that splits Eternia in two. While He-Man and Skeletor will obviously play major roles, it seems that Sarah Michelle Gellar’s Teela will be stepping up to find out what happened to the Sword of Power and unearth the secrets of Castle Grayskull.
And then there’s the live-action Masters of the Universe movie that’s still supposedly on the cards. We haven’t heard anything about that for a while, but let’s optimistically assume that’s because of the current global situation rather than because it’s been cancelled.