Dwayne Johnson Lobbied For Breaking Up Black Adam and Shazam!

Dec 21, 2022

Johnson also executive produced the anti-hero origin film, which was earlier going to be merged into Shazam!

Warner Bros. Pictures

Dwayne Johnson is actively promoting Black Adam, the DC Extended Universe’s anti-hero origin, scheduled to release this October. The film will bring Black Adam’s wrath into the franchise with the Justice Society of America, changing the power hierarchy in the DC Multiverse. But Black Adam wasn’t always the same film we are getting.

Earlier, before DC Films changed the course of the franchise after the commercial failure of Justice League (2017), Black Adam was supposed to be a part of Shazam! (2019) starring Zachary Levi. In fact, Johnson acted as an executive producer on the latter. But later, that idea was scrapped, and both films were split. It was earlier believed that the shift in DCEU plans led to the two films getting separate production, but it turns out that Dwayne Johnson was also lobbying for the same.
In a recent preview of the film in Vanity Fair, Johnson took some responsibility for that move. The actor-producer revealed that the film was pitched to him as a dual origin story. Still, his instincts told him to go in a different direction. He said,

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. 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.

The actor further revealed that he believed that the two have their origin stories, and then merging as one would have been a better option in the future. And based on that belief, he lobbied for these two scripts to be separated.

I said, ‘I have to share my thoughts here. 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.

Johnson As a Minor Villain Wouldn’t Have Worked

The idea of giving Dwayne Johnson his own film is better than having him put against Shazam as an adversary. The character of Black Adam is both a supervillain and an anti-hero in the comics. Having him as a secondary villain and Mark Strong’s Dr. Sivana would indeed have been a disservice to the character.

Shazam and Black Adam share a connection as their powers come from the blessings of the same wizard. It’s unclear how the two will converge into one story in the DCEU, and there are no plans to execute any project for now. But, it may be a part of DC Films’ new ten-year plan of shared continuity.

Black Adam will feature Teth-Adam being released after five thousand years of imprisonment in modern times, where he unleashes his brute tactics of justice. He then clashes with the Justice Society of America, with whom he must team up to stop a greater evil.

Black Adam, starring Dwayne Johnson, Aldis Hodge, Noah Centineo, Sarah Shahi, Marwan Kenzari, Quintessa Swindell, and Pierce Brosnan, will release on October 21, 2022.

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