Earlier today, Dwayne Johnson dropped a surprise most of us had either forgotten about, given up on, or some third thing: His Black Adam movie has a release date of 12/22/21 and it’s a role he’s been looking forward to for a while.
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The Man in Black ⚡️ Like most kids growing up, I dreamed about being a superhero. Having cool superpowers, fighting for what’s right and always protecting the people. It all changed for me, when I was 10yrs old and was first introduced to the greatest superhero of all time - SUPERMAN. As a kid, Superman was the hero I always wanted to be. But, a few years into my fantasy, I realized that Superman was the hero, I could never be. I was too rebellious. Too rambunctious. Too resistant to convention and authority. Despite my troubles, I was still a good kid with a good heart - I just liked to do things my way. Now, years later as a man, with the same DNA I had as a kid - my superhero dreams have come true. I’m honored to join the iconic #DCUniverse and it’s a true pleasure to become, BLACK ADAM. BLACK ADAM is blessed by magic with the powers equal to SUPERMAN, but the difference is he doesn’t toe the mark or walk the line. He’s a rebellious, one of a kind superhero, who’ll always do what’s right for the people - but he does it his way. Truth and justice - the BLACK ADAM way. This role is unlike any other I’ve ever played in my career and I’m grateful to the bone we’ll all go on this journey together. BLACK ADAM 12.22.21 ⚡️ Huge thank you to my friends, @jimlee and @bosslogic for this first time ever bad ass collaboration.
Obviously, this is great news for DC fans ready to see more characters from the comic giant’s roster come to fruition through their partnership with Warner Bros. The concept art looks great and this may even be a sign that Zachary Levi’s Shazam will return soon as well since the two are intertwined as adversaries. Yes, Black Adam is a supervillain that plagues Shazam and the Marvel Family. Yet Johnson refers to him as a superhero. Why?
Originally, Black Adam/Teth-Adam was chosen by the wizard Shazam to wield the power eventually held by Billy Batson/Shazam. Black Adam allowed himself to be corrupted by the power and was then banished since the wizard could not revoke the gifts bestowed upon him. Black Adam eventually finds his way back to Earth and begins going after Shazam and his family.
In 2017 interview with ScreenRant, Johnson explained why he sees Black Adam as a hero - or anti-hero, as he is portrayed in his newest comic run:
“It’s really our interpretation, and who we deem a hero. Yes, of course, in the mythology Black Adam is a villain. Or he can be considered an antihero. Or to some, he’s a hero. To some who have a black heart like me [laughs]. Again, I love the backstory that he started off as a slave and he was held down. And I think when that kinda backstory about a man who’s held down and he rises up out of that to become greater and then dealing with the conflict of pain of losing his family, it’s dark, but it, uh, also adds to the gravity and adds to the weight of the story. So what does it mean for the movie? It means the movie’s gonna be fantastic and it means that it’s gonna be badass. And it means to me, uh, he’s a hero.”
In July 2019, Black Adam producer Hiram Garcia clarified the direction they wanted to go with the character in the film:
“You’re going to meet a character who’s going through a journey. He was created as a villain. And through the love of the fans and through some great writers and storytellers, he evolved into an antihero. The antihero is a character that we always loved and that we responded to. But we understand that there’s been many aspects to Black Adam through him. But ultimately this is a guy who, he does have a moral compass, as skewed as it may be. And ultimately he is a guy that everything has always been driven by his family and what happens to them and he is never opposed to unleashing hell when you cross him. So, I think when you add in those elements of that DNA, those are things we’re very aware of.”
“Those are things that we love about him because he’s complicated. He’s not just justice for all. And he’s not just a villain. This is a guy who’s complex, who’s had many things happen to him and that all shows in his actions. So this a guy who’s going through a journey. He will find himself, but where it goes, you guys will have to find out. But believe me, we know as a huge fan myself, this is a guy who is complicated and vicious.”
It sounds like a monumental task to take this character and flesh him out adequately in the flick before moving onto a possible showdown with Shazam in another movie down the line. Black Adam has been ancient royalty and he’s been a slave already skilled in fighting. He’s been in the Council of the Immortals, Injustice League, and Monster Society of Evil but also the Suicide Squad and Justice Society of America. It’s a lot.
I’m sure Johnson and his team are ready to put in the time and energy to get the character right, but I hope Warner Bros. and New Line are in it to win it as well.
Image sources (in order of posting): Dwayne Johnson Instagram, DC, Warner Bros., New Line