Last year we got word that Dwayne Johnson would be playing the villain Black Adam in the upcoming Shazam (or, the artist formerly known as Captain Marvel) movie, a planned entry in DC’s growing cinematic universe. That won’t be happening for quite a while though, as the film is tentatively scheduled for 2019, which means that a script and crew probably haven’t even left the drawing board.
That hasn’t stopped Johnson from dropping a few hints about what the movie is shaping up to be though. In a recent interview, he called the character an “anti-hero,” and teased an eventual confrontation with the other heavy hitters of the DC Universe.
Anti-hero? Isn’t he the bad guy?
Initially he probably will be, but Johnson told Total Film magazine that he thinks Black Adam will eventually grow into an anti-hero:
I think Black Adam is going to grow into becoming an anti-hero. It’s all written within the spirit of respecting and paying homage to the comics. As we know, Black Adam started out as a slave. When he’s given the powers, he utilised them. Then in the wake of his powers, tragedy strikes, which turns his sentiment and tone in terms of psychology.
I have no idea what he’s talking about, explain?
Back in the 40s, Black Adam was originally a pretty one-dimensional villain (as they tended to be in that era). However, more recently, he’s been given a revised origin story that paints the character in a more sympathetic light. Eventually, the character even reforms and becomes a hero (to a degree), gaining probationary membership in the Justice Society.
So in that light, Black Adam starting off as a villain in the Shazam movie (likely one with understandable motives), and then gradually shifting into an anti-hero role as the DC Cinematic Universe progresses, is totally in line with the character’s arc in the comics. It would also explain why a big star like Dwayne Johnson would take a role like that in a franchise that might eat up a couple years of his life.
So what’s this about fighting Superman and Batman?
Johnson added that the Shazam film, Black Adam included, would fit into the larger DC movie universe:
It was all agreed that the worlds are all interconnected… One day you will see Black Adam go at it with Superman or Batman or any of the DC characters. But that said, there’s a great independence to Black Adam from the DC world, allowing us to inject, not only viciousness, but also winking humour.
Dwayne Johnson throwing down in a superpowered battle against Henry Cavill’s Superman and Ben Affleck’s Batman? I’d pay good money to see that.
Me too, so when will we be seeing him suit up as Black Adam?
Shazam is currently scheduled for release on April 5, 2019. There’s still no director (or casting rumors for Shazam himself), but Darren Lemke is currently working on the screenplay.