Dwayne Johnson has comic nerds confused after suggesting it’d be wrong to include his DC character alongside another hero in the same movie … without getting his own movie first.
The Rock revealed to Vanity Fair he did a little lobbying with WB to make sure ‘Black Adam’ would be its own standalone film before any potential blending with ‘Shazam!’ — a separate character played by Zachary Levi, who Adam actually faces off with in the source material.
VF writes that Black Adam, played by Dwayne, was actually set to be in the first ‘Shazam!’ movie in 2019, as he was initially written into the script as the big bad opposite Levi.
The Rock says when he saw this, though, upon first being approached for the project … he expressed his reservations — recounting, “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.”
He adds, “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.’ It would’ve been fine for Shazam having two origin stories converge in one movie, but not good for Black Adam.” Dwayne made some calls, and got his way.
DJ doesn’t elaborate on why he thinks it’d be a disservice … and that’s where the DC fandom is kicking in. In their eyes, it makes complete sense to introduce Black Adam in a ‘Shazam!’ movie — even from the get-go — seeing how BA is literally a known nemesis.
That’s not what the ‘Shazam!’ films have done thus far … in both the OG/forthcoming sequel, there are other bad guys Shazam is fighting, although Black Adam has been teased. Eventually, they’ll cross paths … but critics think it’s strange Dwayne insisted on having his outing to kickstart things. Frankly, a Carly Simon song is coming to mind for some over this.
The argument … The Rock’s ego might be showing by admitting he wanted the character to be bigger than WB had, perhaps, initially intended — especially if he was going to play him.
In Dwayne’s defense … all he did was chirp up on what he thought would be best, and clearly Warner thought that was the right way to go — seeing how they actually pivoted and did a whole ‘Black Adam’ flick like DJ suggested, which is coming out later this fall. And besides, it’s all headed for a big mashup anyway down the line … so who cares?
It’s also possible WBD now has a plan to include BA beyond just the ‘Shazam!’ universe — seeing how Dwayne talked about a possible matchup with Superman. And if so … great!