Black Adam and Shazam are DC Comics characters whose history dates back to 1945. For many fans, the film debut of one character should have included an appearance from the other, but the DCEU had other plans, though those plans came from an unlikely source.
Recently, producer and actor Dwayne Johnson spoke to Vanity Fair about the upcoming release of his DC Comics debut in Black Adam. During the chat, Johnson opened up about Black Adam and Shazam not sharing the screen together just yet and took responsibility for the decision to keep the origin films apart.
“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,” says Johnson. “Now that was the goal — so it wasn’t a complete surprise. But when I read that, I just knew in my gut, ‘We can’t make this movie like this. We would be doing Black Adam an incredible disservice.'”
Johnson saw both characters as too essential to split their origin stories and adds that after reading the script, he “made a phone call” where he shared his “unpopular” opinion.
“I said, ‘I have to share my thoughts here,'” he tells Vanity Fair. “Everybody thought, ‘Hey, this script is great, let’s go make this movie.’ I said, ‘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.'”
This split allowed David F. Sandberg to create his own take with Shazam! in 2019 (the sequel Shazam! Fury of the Gods opens in December), while Johnson tapped his Jungle Cruise helmer Jaume Collet-Serra for the Black Adam, which opens this October. Whether the two characters’ paths will then cross, we shall have to wait and see…
Nearly 5,000 years after he was bestowed with the almighty powers of the ancient gods—and imprisoned just as quickly—Black Adam (Johnson) is freed from his earthly tomb, ready to unleash his unique form of justice on the modern world.
Black Adam is directed by Jaume Collet-Serra (Jungle Cruise) and sees Dwayne Johnson starring alongside Noah Centineo as Atom Smasher, Aldis Hodge as Hawkman, Quintessa Swindell as Cyclone, Pierce Brosnan as Doctor Fate, Sarah Shahi as Adrianna, Marwan Kenzari as Ishmael, Bodhi Sabongui as Amon and Viola Davis as Amanda Waller.
Black Adam is set for release on October 21st 2022.