Dwayne Johnson Gives Some Details on DC’s Upcoming ‘Black Adam’ and ‘Shazam!’ Films

Buckle up any DC nerds who are still looking forward to anything DC is making after Suicide Squad and Just-Okay League. Dwayne Johnson gave Variety some news about the Black Adam film he’s been set to star in for years with little movement at the premiere of his new film Skyscraper.

“The script is coming along…I’m very happy with it. That’s a project that obviously you want to take your time with.”

There have been rumors of a cameo by Johnson in the upcoming DC film Shazam!, starring Zachary Levi as the title character, since Black Adam is a major villain in the Shazam! comics, but Johnson put them to bed.

“I’m not in that one,” Johnson told SyFy. “It’s Shazam and Black Adam and, with the way the DC universe works, we should — in theory — meet up on the big screen. But who knows.”

If you’re lost, prepare to be more lost while I explain comic books to you. Way back in the 1930s, Fawcett comics created a character called Billy Batson, a young boy who transformed into the super hero Captain Marvel when he said “Shazam!,” the magic word given to him by a wizard who was coincidentally also named Shazam. One notable fan of this comic was Elvis Presley, who modeled his stage appearance on Captain Marvel’s sidekick, Captain Marvel, Jr.

Captain Marvel was eventually sold to DC Comics, who marketed his books under the title Shazam! because Marvel Comics had trademarked the title Captain Marvel for a character of their own, mainly to prevent DC from using it. During this period Fawcett featured in The Shazam/Isis Power Hour, alongside Isis, a female hero who just goes by Zari Tomaz nowadays for obvious reasons.

In the character’s most recent origin story, the name Captain Marvel has been dropped entirely in favor of the name Shazam, and Black Adam played an increased role. Black Adam had the power of Shazam thousands of years ago, but was exiled by the wizard Shazam after the power corrupted him and turned him evil. Black Adam’s escape from exile and impending return was now the reason the wizard gave Billy Batson his powers, but the Shazam! movie will feature Captain Marvel’s more traditional arch-enemy, Dr. Sivana, instead.

DC sure seems to like movies starring super villains for some reason. Suicide Squad was a flop, but DC is planning on a Joker film starring Joaquin Phoenix, a bunch of Harley Quinn movies and films centered on Lobo, Deadshot and Deathstroke the Terminator in addition to their Black Adam flick. I like The Rock as much as the next guy, but maybe part of the reason DC films are failing is that they’re putting all their best villains in their own films instead of using them as villains in superhero movies.

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