Black Adam may lead to KINGDOM COME

Black Adam producer Hiram Garcia dreams of bringing to life the legendary comic book miniseries, Kingdom Come.

Black Adam producer and Dwayne Johnson’s frequent collaborator on film projects, Hiram Garcia, revealed they have discussed a Kingdom Come project for the DCEU.

Black Adam producer Hiram Garcia has hinted at discussions of a Kingdom Come live-action film. (Images: DC Entertainment/Warner Bros.)

2022 is going to be a big year for the DC Extended Universe. With three major theatrical films (Black Adam, The Flash, Aquaman and The Lost Kingdom), one HBO Max movie (Batgirl), and one series (Peacemaker), this year will be one of the busiest the superhero cinematic universe has had since it began with Man of Steel (2013). Black Adam itself is being positioned as a springboard for new spinoffs.

But with the DCEU status quo still in flux, is it time to seriously explore the twilight of these superheroes in a Kingdom Come project? Read on for more.

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Seven Bucks to superheroes

Hiram Garcia has been one of the producers behind Dwayne Johnson’s major film projects. As president of Johnson’s Seven Buck Productions (named after the amount of money the former WWE superstar had to his name, after being let go from the Canadian Football League back in 1995), Garcia is one of the figureheads behind such projects as Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle and its sequel The Next Level, Disney’s Jungle Cruise, and most recently, Red Notice for Netflix.

Seven Bucks Productions already has an impressive slate of projects lined up for the DC Extended Universe. Aside from Black Adam, the production company is also involved in Shazam: Fury of the Gods (2023) and the animated DC League of Super-Pets. As Black Adam is being positioned as a major player for the future of the DCEU (both as a character and as a film entry), Garcia and Seven Bucks Productions will be very visible in the DCEU for years to come.

Kingdom Come was published by DC Comics in 1996, written by Mark Waid and art by Alex Ross.

Speaking to Collider as part of the Black Adam promotion, Garcia shared that Kingdom Come has been thrown around as a potential future dream project:

I think the dream project that's something we've always spoken about at Seven Bucks, we would love to make someday, which is a tougher ambition due to, obviously, IP and rules and so forth, but always been obsessed with Kingdom Come, the Mark Waid/Alex Ross joint that those guys did. I think that storyline was always so compelling. We've always envisioned it as kind of an epic, multi-film saga. I think that's something we've always dreamed of being able to do.

A kingdom coming?

For context, Kingdom Come was a four-issue miniseries published by DC Comics in 1996. Written by Mark Waid and with gorgeous painted artwork by Alex Ross, Kingdom Come explored the notion of what happens to the world if Superman gave up his "Neverending Battle".

The results are depressing, as the new generation of superhumans act carelessly and without regard for human lives. After a team of superhumans caused a nuclear devastation in Kansas, Superman is convinced to return from his exile. But while the Last Son of Krypton brings a renewed hope, the machinations of a sinister cabal of supervillains and the fearful human governments may still lead to the end of the world.

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Kingdom Come was a well-executed examination of the role of superheroes, particularly Superman, inspiring their successors. As comics of the era was taking a darker tone in terms of story, Kingdom Come deconstructed classic ideas of what superheroes were into what they could be in real world concepts of paranoia vs. hope.

The Kingdom Come Superman redesign is a fan favorite, including an homage worn by Brandon Routh in The CW Arrowverse crossover.

The success of Kingdom Come had long-lasting effects, both in comic books and pop culture. The beautiful and realistic painted art by Alex Ross particularly influenced the look of modern interpretations of superheroes in live action. Superman’s redesigned costume, with the muted blue and red and the black replacing the yellow, is especially striking. It has even been homaged in the CW Arrowverse crossover, with Brandon Routh reprising his Superman role wearing the Kingdom Come costume design.

Balance of power

Kingdom Come is one of the most revered comic book stories, not just in DC Comics itself but the entire comics fandom. Given its near-mythical reputation, it would be challenging to meet expectations of adapting it for live action on the big screen. Moreover, unlike the MCU, the DCEU has yet to find a solid foothold on the success of its interconnecting properties.

Much of this stems from the internal conflict between the filmmakers and Warner Bros. executives. For instance, 2017’s Justice League was a polarizing film after Joss Whedon’s changes altered the original vision Zack Snyder had. It would not be until after the fans collectively pushed the "Release the Snyder Cut" movement on social media that Warner Bros. gave Snyder the additional budget to complete the movie. The result was a massive success, both critically and commercially, when it was released on the HBO Max streaming platform.

But even with this overwhelmingly positive outcome, Warner Bros. is moving forward with leaving the Snyderverse behind. Although Ezra Miller has denied speculations that the Snyderverse is being erased in The Flash, it is clear that changes are being made that is no longer consistent with what has been established before, essentially revising the DCEU into something else.

Given that Kingdom Come revolves around the idea that the world has degenerated to an apocalyptic mess due to a new generation of irresponsible heroes, it would seem like an odd choice once the rumored changes in The Flash become realized. Moreover, this may clash with the rumored Final Crisis project under Zack Snyder. Whichever the case may be, the future of a Kingdom Come live action film project will certainly rely on the level of success that Black Adam will attain.

Black Adam stars Dwayne Johnson (Teth-Adam/Black Adam), Pierce Brosnan (Kent Nelson/Dr. Fate), Aldis Hodge (Hawkman), Noah Centineo (Atom Smasher), Sarah Shahi (Isis), and Quintessa Swindell (Cyclone).

Produced by Seven Bucks Productions and New Line Cinema, and distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, Black Adam will debut for theatrical release on July 29, 2022.

Geoff Borgonia
Geoffrey "Borgy" Borgonia is a veteran writer, artist, journalist, gamer, and entrepreneur based in the Philippines. When not contributing to some of the top pop culture sites on the planet, he spends the rest of his time running his business, practicing martial arts, working on and developing books, comics, and games. In his man-cave, his only luxury is sleep. Borgy on Linkedin.