Even though it was one of the first movies to be announced in late 2014 as part of the DC Extended Universe, there’s barely been any word on how Shazam is progressing. In fact, the only actor who’s still attached to the movie is Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, who will play the main antagonist, Black Adam. Despite the lack of public information, Johnson hasn’t hesitate to talk about his upcoming turn as the anti-hero, and today he provided some insight into why he decided to play Black Adam in the first place. He said:
I love that he starts off as a slave, that he felt like he was wronged. I’ve just loved that backstory. I think that Black Adam has always been, to me, the most intriguing superhero.
While answering fan comments on his YouTube channel to “start 2017 off with a bang,” Dwayne Johnson provided the above explanation for why he took the Black Adam role. It’s peculiar that the actor categorized Black Adam as a superhero, but the character has definitely come a long way since his introduction in 1945. Originally a more stereotypical “mustache-twirling” supervillain, Black Adam has morphed in recent years into more of an anti-hero. He still battles Shazam frequently, but only because their methods on how to keep humanity safe clash, especially concerning the citizens of Kahndaq, Black Adam’s home country.
In the contemporary continuity (specifically the New 52), Black Adam was originally Teth-Adam, a Kahndaqian slave who was enraged with how his people was treated by their cruel masters. He eventually gained the powers bequeathed by the wizard Shazam (whether this deliberate or accidental varies by the tale) and used his newfound might to seek justice for the people of Kahndaq. In the present, Black Adam is reawakened and continues his mission to fight for those who’ve been wronged, but his methods are usually seen as too brutal by Shazam and the other DC heroes.
Years before the DC Extended Universe was even being considered, Dwayne Johnson was actually set to play Black Adam in a self-contained Shazam movie, but that iteration project eventually fell through. Then on September 3, 2014, Johnson announced on Twitter that he would play Black Adam in the DCEU’s Shazam, and over a month later, it was one of the many movies announced as part of the slate of DC movies set in this shared universe. With almost two and a half years years to go until Shazam‘s release, Warner Bros has yet to announce any specific details about the movie, including who will play the World’s Mightiest Mortal. Still, Johnson seems just as excited to play Black Adam as he did two years ago, leaving us all the more eager to see what his portrayal will look like.
Shazam is still scheduled to arrive in theaters on April 5, 2019.