Masters of the Universe is Quietly Retconning He-Man's Backstory

Prince Adam did what?

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In the next He-Man movie, the muscular ‘80s action hero will get an entirely new backstory that borrows from Superman while acknowledging the last live-action He-Man adventure. According to Variety, the new Masters of the Universe will debut on June 26, 2026, and will feature a brand-new story, one unfamiliar to anyone who loved He-Man in the ‘80s, ‘90s, early aughts, or even during his 2020s Netflix incarnation.

While this new premise is a radical departure from the He-Man mythos, it sounds like it just might work. Here’s what the new Masters of the Universe movie is about, why it’s such a big departure, and why it fits in perfectly with the wacky world of Grayskull.

Directed by Travis Knight (Bumblebee), the official synopsis for the new Masters of the Universe is:

Masters of the Universe introduces a 10-year-old Prince Adam, who crashed to Earth in a spaceship and was separated from his magical Power Sword — the only link to his home on Eternia...After tracking it down almost two decades later, Prince Adam is whisked back across space to defend his home planet against the evil forces of Skeletor. But to defeat such a powerful villain, Prince Adam will first need to uncover the mysteries of his past and become He-Man: the most powerful man in the Universe!”

Prince Adam — the more chilled-out alter-ego of He-Man from the classic cartoon — will be marooned on Earth and grow up here before he ever finds the Power of Grayskull. Like Superman after the destruction of Krypton, it sounds like Adam will be a humanoid alien among humans, but unlike Kal-El, he’ll have a home planet to return to.

He-Man (Dolph Lundgren) and Gwildor (Billy Barty) trapped on Earth in 1987.

Michael Ochs Archives/Moviepix/Getty Images

The classic cartoon (mostly) didn’t mess around with Earth, and He-Man’s powers were “revealed” to him on the planet Eternia, where the majority of the action takes place. However, visiting Earth isn’t entirely without precedent in He-Man canon.

Although Adam wasn’t raised on Earth, the Filmation series established that his mother was actually from Earth. Known as Queen Marlena on Eternia, Adam’s mother was a human astronaut named Marlena Glenn. In “Teela’s Quest,” it was revealed she crash-landed on Eternia, eventually married King Randor, and then had his children, He-Man and She-Ra.

This backstory gives He-Man an inherent connection to Earth. The new movie is just flipping his backstory around, stranding Adam on Earth instead of putting his mom on Eternia. There’s another precedent for He-Man’s Earth shenanigans, too. In the 1987 live-action Masters of the Universe, He-Man and friends find themselves transported to Earth thanks to the “Cosmic Key,” which opens dimensions between worlds. Much of the plot unfolds on Earth, not Eternia.

In a way, it sounds like the new movie will pay homage to both the 1987 movie and the classic cartoon. He-Man may have a new backstory, but he still sounds just as silly as he should be.

Masters of the Universe is expected to release on June 26, 2026.

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