It was a big day for the Netflix animated reboot series, Masters of the Universe: Revelation, as it not only premiered its first season on the streamer Friday, but it also had its own virtual panel at the 2021 San Diego Comic-Con. Hosted by Kevin Smith (Clerks), creator of the series, the panel featured stars of the series Chris Wood (Supergirl), Sarah Michelle Gellar (Buffy the Vampire Slayer), Tiffany Smith (Into the Dark), and Tony Todd (Candyman).
Master of the Universe: Revelation is a reboot series of the original Masters of the Universe cartoon which aired during the eighties. A beloved show and staple in pop culture, Smith brought back the epic series with all of its iconic characters in full force. The first season, which is now available on Netflix, contains five, half-hour episodes aimed at both kid and adult audiences.
Wood stars in the series as He-Man, and none other than Mark Hamill (Star Wars) voices his sworn enemy, Skeletor. The cast also features Gellar as Teela, Smith as Andra, Todd as Scareglow, and Lena Heady (Game of Thrones) voices Evil-Lyn.
Much of the discussion during the Comic-Con panel consisted of the actors explaining what their relationship to the series has been like spanning back the past several decades, and how the reboot updated certain elements to feel more current. One of the main focal points of the conversation dealt with the character of Teela, voiced by Gellar. A fierce warrior, Smith and Gellar discussed the important role Teela plays in the reboot, as she takes center stage in season one.
Smith revealed what the casting process was like, and how he instantly knew he wanted Gellar to play Teela: “I remember when we were casting, your name came up immediately because Teela is front and center in our storyline, so we wanted of course, a very strong female lead to play. And everybody was just like, oh what about Sarah Michelle Gellar.” Smith went on to further remark on Teela becoming the main heroine of the series, as the story is told through her eyes: “Teela was basically the center of the story that we were going to tell. You know it’s a He-Man story, its a Masters of the Universe story, but its watching Teela’s journey.”
Gellar then discussed her initial reaction to reading the scripts, and the excitement it generated: “When I first read the script and I realized that Kevin was bringing this into a whole new generation – to girls to boys to adults to kids to everybody in between – it doesn’t matter how you identify, there’s a part of each of these characters that you can identify with in this story. And what its like to forge friendships, to find out that the people that you love haven’t been honest with you, and what your place in the world is. And so it just made me really excited.”
Wood, who plays He-Man, also chimed in on his decades long love for Masters of the Universe and addressed the pressures of taking on such an iconic role: “I grew up playing with the toys and doing the voice, so I feel like I sort of practiced for this opportunity for my whole life. Yeah its He-man, to get to say ‘I have the power’, you just hope your voice doesn’t crack. It was really just nerves mostly.”
Falling on the opposite side of the spectrum, Gellar revealed that she was never a fan of Masters of the Universe growing up: “I think, especially when I was younger, you know back 200 hundred years ago, cartoons were really aimed at boys and aimed at girls. And it was very divided. And He-Man was definitely sort of a male-centric cartoon, it didn’t have characters that I identified with and I necessarily rooted for, although oddly enough I did love Skeletor, which says a lot about me as a person.”
Watch the full Masters of the Universe: Revelation Comic-Con panel below: