The blueprint of the DCEU has been in flux for quite some time now and even before the polarizing opinions of their films, Dwayne Johnson was attached to be a part of the universe back in 2014. His options were for the superhero Shazam and for his arch nemesis Black Adam with Johnson ultimately picking the villain role of Black Adam. A few months back, there was a rumor that the studio wanted to instead make solo films for both Shazam and Black Adam, but no confirmation from anyone involved surfaced.
Since then, The Rock seems to be in every movie franchise except the one he was cast in three years ago over at DC/WB/Miramax. Now, we have confirmation from the actor himself which direction the film(s) will be going: “We’ve had great discussions with Geoff Johns over there at DC. This is a really, really fun, cool time for DC right now because they’re really in a process of truly world building, and building out. We’re seeing that with Wonder Woman and Aquaman, and we have a few surprises down the line. So what we decided to do was actually create a scenario where Black Adam is having his standalone movie, Captain Marvel/Shazam will have his standalone movie, and then we’re building our world up that way and then we can come together at some other point.”
I want to focus on the comments where he says that DC is working really hard on world building. That’s promising news if I’ve ever heard it. DC hasn’t had issues with cool characters, but rather their characteristics being fleshed out in worlds that we actually care about. There hasn’t been any character driven stories beyond Man of Steel, which, if you look back with sharper lenses, you will see how much a character piece that truly is.
With his comments about both characters having their own movies and eventually meeting up, I get it, but I’m not sure I love it. I don’t like when villains get their own movies and I don’t always want to see the happy, fluffy beginnings they have which ultimately make them evil. To be fair, Black Adam has a strong backstory that could be told cinematically, but I think I’d rather see that as the first act of a Shazam movie which can then maybe feed into the origin of Billy Batson aka Shazam later on in the film.
And then he said this…
“We have a surprise for Black Adam coming up. I can’t tell you what it is, but it is gonna be… it’s gonna be fucking awesome.”
Well I’m sold Rock, I’m sold. The Rock is the busiest man in Hollywood at this point with nearly half a dozen films yet to even start production not including Black Adam and Shazam, but I have a feeling when they need him for the Black Adam surprises – which I think will be a cameo in another DC film first – then he will come. I’m just relieved he’s so optimistic about the DCEU still and he is still passionate about bringing Black Adam to life for the studio which often means he’s still very much in the fold of their future plans.