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The Rock announces his Black Adam movie for December 2021

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Lightning, meet thunder

Black Adam, arch-nemesis of Shazam, reclines on a throne, surrounded by bodies, on the cover of 52 #45, DC Comics (2007). J.G. Jones, Alex Sinclair/DC Comics

After years of hinting and hoping, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson has confirmed that he’s officially bringing Black Adam to the screen, in a blockbuster due in December 2021. It’s unclear if the movie’s a direct sequel to Warner Bros.’ Shazam! or a movie meant to kickoff a bigger DC universe, but Johnson will play the villainous Black Adam, former avatar of the Wizard, who was condemned for using his powers for selfish reasons.

Johnson shared the news with a post on his instagram, complete with concept art by Jim Lee of himself in Adam’s black and gold:

Johnson was cast as Black Adam all the way back in 2014, but delays in the production of Shazam! caused the film to conflict with his schedule. A solo Black Adam was subsequently floated. That could be what Johnson is hinting at with the release date here — or it could be the currently in pre-production sequel to Shazam!.

Black Adam, given name Teth-Adam, was born in 13th-century Egypt, and, as an adult, was chosen to receive the power of Shazam, just like Billy Batson in the modern day. Shazam! even referenced this, explaining that after gaining the power of the lightning, Black Adam freed the Seven Deadly Sins and nearly destroyed the world.

Functionally, Black Adam is every bit Billy Batson’s equal, with all the same powers — making him strong enough to go toe-to-toe with Superman. In the modern DC Comics Universe, however, he’s also had role as a world leader. After being revived/released in the modern day, he returned to Khandaq, the made-up middle eastern country that he once ruled in antiquity. There, the descendants of his original subjects received him as a theocratic ruler.

Adam is prideful, powerful, and follows his own code of honor. His stated goal is to protect his people and foster their growth as a society, and he believes that American superheroes have an outsize influence on global norms.

Which side of Black Adam we’ll see in the next Shazam! installment remains to be seen, but I think it’s safe to bet that either way, The Rock will have some fun bringing him to life.