It was a surprise when Kevin Smith announced he was developing a reboot of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe for Netflix. It was even more surprising though when Mark Hamill joined the cast, and according to Smith, he actually came out of voice acting retirement to play the villainous Skeletor in the series.
The cast already features some big names that include Buffy the Vampire Slayer‘s Sarah Michelle Gellar and Game of Thrones’ Lena Heady, but Hamill will no doubt be a big drawing point for viewers, especially after reprising his role as Luke Skywalker in The Last Jedi. Speaking on IMDb’s podcast Movies That Changed My Life, Smith recalls Hamill telling him of his reaction at being offered the role.
“Mark was out of the animation game altogether. He was like ‘I was done doing voiceovers, but then my agent called me and said ‘Skeletor’ and I was like ‘Oooooh’.”
Although a quick glance at Hamill’s filmography might make you question when exactly he retired, as his credits are fairly consistent up to last year, voice acting is done at a different schedule from its live action counterpart. The voices being recorded is the first part of a project’s production, undertaken well in advance of the animation itself. This way the animators can match the characters speaking to the length and rhythm of the lines. Recording also takes considerably less time than set and location filming, which has a myriad of time-consuming variables to keep on top of, as opposed to one person talking while sitting in a booth.
Mark Hamill is best known among the general public for his role in Star Wars, but he’s also had a prolific career as a voice actor. Most notable among these is a 25-year stint portraying the Joker in various Batman media, starting with the seminal ‘90s series and carrying on in numerous animated movies, series and games, and even a vocal cameo in the pilot episode of the short-lived Birds of Prey. He’s also portrayed a number of characters in a wide spectrum of significance, including shows such as Avatar: The Last Airbender, Adventure Time, Trollhunters and Gravity Falls.
Despite Smith’s regular excited declarations of the project’s quality, not much in the way of specifics have been said about what we can expect from this version of Masters of the Universe. If it’s anything like Noelle Stevenson’s reinvention of She-Ra, though, it’ll definitely be something spectacular, and having Hamill on board as the primary villain can only ever be a good thing.