Dwayne Johnson convinced DC to make Black Adam stand alone film

In an interview with Vanity Fair, Dwayne Johnson shares more details on the upcoming superhero movie.


Dwayne Johnson has always been vocal about his involvement in the Black Adam project. It was in August 2014 when he announced that he would be playing the antihero in the DC Extended Universe.

Dwayne Johnson fought hard to have a stand alone film for the antihero Black Adam.

When the movie Shazam came out in 2019, fans were expecting Black Adam as the bad guy in the film. It would have been a natural fit as they share a similar origin story and fought each other as comic books’ rivals. But, much to everyone's surprise, Shazam! came out with a different villain and Dwayne John nowhere in sight. Instead, we only got a brief mention from the Wizard that the previous champion went astray.

Three years later and we're about to see Black Adam make his DCEU debut.

Johnson’s fight for a Black Adam film

Black Adam is coming to theaters on October 22.

Dwayne Johnson shared that he fought hard to have a separate film for Black Adam upon reading the initial script of Shazam. "When the first draft of the movie came to us, it was a combination of Black Adam and Shazam: Two origin stories in one movie," Johnson recalls.

The actor shares that, from the time he read the initial draft, he already knew that the character needed his own movie. "When I read that, I just knew in my gut, ‘We can’t make this movie like this," Johnson continues.

It would have been a disservice to the character to be included in the first Shazam film. "It would’ve been fine for Shazam having two origin stories converge in one movie, but not good for Black Adam." It would have been indeed fine for the Shazam movie to include Black Adam. A big name such as Johnson would have commanded more attention to the film and consequently, more box office revenue.

But for fans of the antihero, playing second fiddle to the titular character would have diminished his appeal. It would also have lessened time for fight scenes and character development.

An unpopular movie befitting of the Kahndaq ruler

Johnson knew that his stance on making a separate film was unpopular among his peers. He started making phone calls to share his thoughts on the script and lobbied for the antihero to get his own movie.

The actor shared his insights into the film to movie executives at DC:

I really think that you should make Shazam!, make that movie on its own in the tone that you want. And I think we should separate this as well.

Shazam made it to the big screen without Black Adam, with a group of demons called The Seven Deadly Sins as the film’s antagonists. The antihero gets to have his own movie focusing on his backstory and a run-in with the Justice Society of America.

“A god who has zero mercy”

Black Adam is pound for pound, a match for Superman.

In an Instagram post promoting the interview with Vanity Fair and the movie, Dwayne Johnson mentioned that Black Adam was a departure from what people expect from any character he has played before. He describes the hero as ruthless and full of rage.

He goes on to describe Black Adam: "And pound for pound, has the powers of Superman - but has become a god who has zero mercy in the DC UNIVERSE." Black Adam is a match for Superman in terms of strength, speed, and ability to fly. Even if Superman has x-ray vision as well as heat vision, Black Adam can cast lightning bolts at his enemies. This, in particular, puts Black Adam at an advantage as Superman is historically susceptible to magic.

The comparison to Superman gives fans hope for an eventual showdown between the Man Black and the Man of Steel. The anticipation even led to some fan unrest at the San Diego Comic-Con. Of course, we can't forget about the fateful battle between Shazam and Black Adam. As a fan, we'd love to see Black Adam take on both Superman and Shazam in one epic film. But, it's highly likely that we'll have to wait for years for that to happen.

For now, we'll have to settle with watching Black Adam in theaters on October 22. On the other hand, Shazam! Fury of the Gods will premiere on December 21, 2022, as it attempts to avoid a head-on collision with Avatar: The Way of Water.

Darryl Lara

Darryl has been gaming since the early 90s, loves to read books and watch TV. He spends his free time outside of gaming and books by riding his motorcycle and taking photographs. You can find Darryl on Instagram. Check him out on Steam and Xbox too.
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