It seems that the 1983 animated series “He-Man and the Masters of the Universe,” while functionally not much different from a toy commercial, has many, many fans who are incredibly tetchy about the show’s extant lore. When Smith, also a fan, came in to create an update, he elected to enrich the story. The premise was that the show’s hero and villain, He-Man and Skeletor, had a final conflagration so intense, it not only ended both their lives but damaged the fantasy realm’s source of magic. The character of Teela (Sarah Michelle Gellar), having been banished, had to seek out He-Man’s magical sword in order to restore the kingdom.
Some might find the story fascinating, and the change of pace to be clever. “Masters of the Universe” was, after all, paper-thin to start. Evidently, there was a great deal of fan backlash, with some particularly sexist corners of Reddit chiming in to criticize Smith’s decisions. Smith assumed he was doing something clever that fans would enjoy. It seems that even attempting to tinker with certain fan bases led Smith to conclude that fan communities are dangerous. Knowing that someone is going to be angry regardless, Smith said he would pass on something like “Star Wars” or the MCU. Why make a movie if you know fans will call you a terrible person? Smith said:
“It’s a fool’s errand – you’re going to piss somebody off. Fandom is rabid and tribal. When I worked on ‘Masters of the Universe,’ I took a lot of heat from people who felt like I had ruined their childhood. Going near a Marvel or a ‘Star Wars’ would make me insanely reticent. They’ve got a billion people to make those movies, but nobody’s making Kevin Smith movies, so I might as well make them.”