Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson has officially announced the start of filming for the long-awaited Black Adam feature film. To commemorate the occasion, The Rock shared the first photo on the production set via his Instagram page.
Who is Black Adam?
Created in 1945 by Otto Binder and C.C. Beck, Black Adam debuted in Fawcett Comics’ The Marvel Family #1. Interestingly, Black Adam was intended as a one-time villain opposing the popular superhero Captain Marvel and the rest of the Shazam family. After DC Comics acquired Fawcett Comics and its properties, Black Adam would be reused as a recurring villain and, later on, an antihero in the pages of its comic books.
In his original back story, Black Adam was an Egyptian named Teth-Adam, chosen in the ancient times to be the wizard Shazam’s champion. By saying the wizard’s name, Teth-Adam would change into a form that possessed the powers of various deities and heroes of legend. This granted him the wisdom of Solomon, the strength of Hercules, the stamina of Atlas, the power of Zeus, the courage of Achilles, and the speed of Mercury.
Later retcons would change the names associated to Egyptian deities. Teth-Adam (now called Mighty Adam) served as protector of ancient Egypt. However, the lust for more power consumed Teth-Adam. He killed the pharaoh and sought a path of conquest.
The wizard Shazam called him Black Adam for betraying his sworn duty and banished his former protégé into the depths of space, to the very edge of the universe. Enraged and vowing revenge, Black Adam spends the next 5,000 years flying back to Earth. Upon his return, he found that the wizard had chosen new champions and given them the same powers. Captain Marvel, Mary Marvel, and Captain Marvel Jr. fight Black Adam to a stalemate, until the villain is tricked into saying the magic word Shazam, thus transforming him back into his mortal form, and five thousand years of aging then turned him into dust in mere moments.
This origin of Black Adam would later be revised and refined. His past history would include being the son of Pharaoh Rameses II of ancient Egypt and a prince of the fictional Middle Eastern kingdom of Kahndaq. Aside from being a rival of Captain Marvel and the Marvel Family, Black Adam would also often find himself at odds with the Man of Steel, Superman.
Black Adam Film
The character of Black Adam would prove to be very popular with the comic book fandom. His character would later be redefined into an anti-hero type. He would later join the heroic Justice Society of America and, recently, the Justice League. Due to the character’s popularity, there have been long discussions about bringing him into live action as part of the DC Comics Extended or Cinematic Universe (aka DCEU).
This would come into fruition in 2014 when Dwayne Johnson signed on to play the titular character. Initially, the character would have appeared in the stand-alone Shazam! film in 2019, but the decision was made to have Black Adam in his own feature film, likely due to the bankability of Johnson’s presence. Johnson had previously appeared in and reinvigorated such franchises as The Fast and The Furious and Jumanji to box office success. The plot of the film would be based on the revised, heroic version of Black Adam, instead of being a straight up villain.
As the film production of Black Adam has progressed, the cast and story has been expanded. In addition to Black Adam, the upcoming film will now include members of the Justice Society, particularly members who have connections to Black Adam’s Egyptian origins, such as Hawkman and Dr. Fate. There are also rumors that Henry Cavill’s Superman would also appear. However, there is no word on whether any of the cast of the previous Shazam! film would make appearances to tie in with the comic book origins.
During DC Comics' Fandome event, a teaser trailer for the Black Adam film debuted.
First Day Production Photo
On his Instagram account, Dwayne Johnson shared a photo from the first day on the production set. The photo itself does not reveal much. It features one of the clapper boards, used to indicate when a scene is being filmed. The clapper board itself highlights the title card and logo of the Black Adam film, with the names of James Collet-Serra and Lawrence Sher, the film’s director and the director of photography, respectively.
Johnson had this to say about the efforts of the cast and crew to make the comic book property come to life:
We have an all star production crew - incredibly talented, galvanized, committed and focused to raise the bar and deliver something SPECIAL for the world.
Black Adam stars Dwayne Johnson as Teth-Adam/Black Adam, Aldis Hodge as Hawkman, Pierce Brosnan as Dr. Fate, Noah Centineo as Atom Smasher, Sarah Shahi as Isis, and Quintessa Swindell as Cyclone. Produced under New Line Cinema and distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, Black Adam is scheduled for a theatrical release on July 29, 2022.