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:
View this post on Instagram
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.
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.