Though both Suicide Squad and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice failed to impress critics and have split fans, the two films earned Warner Brothers an impressive amount of money this year. Thanks to that commercial success, the WB has shown no sign of slowing down with the rollout of their superhero universe. In the near future, that means the release of Wonder Woman, Justice League, and Aquaman. After that, the DCEU will expand its roster further by giving a number of other heroes and villains their own films. Out of all of their upcoming projects, Shazam! is one of the biggest unknowns.
Originally announced as arriving in 2019, many have questioned whether this will actually be the case. For starters, no actor has yet been named as the titular hero, and we haven’t received word of either a writer or director for the project. What we do know is that global megastar Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson will be starring in the film as the villainous Black Adam. Since his involvement was announced years ago, the actor has been more than willing to hype up the project to his massive social media following. The film marks one of DC’s riskier bets, as Shazam and Black Adam are both fairly unknown outside of comic book circles. The presence of Johnson, however, is sure to help the film’s chances when it finally arrives.
While we await more news on the project, artist George Evangelista has offered his interpretation of how Johnson could appear when he eventually debuts as Black Adam.
The art comes just days after BossLogic posted his own take on the rogue. It wasn’t his first crack at it either, as he released a piece earlier this year of Black Adam in action with Johnson’s face. While both of BossLogic’s imaginings obscure much of the actor’s face in favor of lens flare and faux-CGI, Evangelista’s piece doesn’t shy away from showing Johnson front and center. The costume draws more from the classic take on Black Adam, rather than his New 52 look that BossLogic uses. It also does a remarkable job of transforming Johnson’s face into the villain, complete with pointy ears.
Given the star power of Johnson, it’s always seemed a bit odd that he’s been at the front of the Shazam! hype, rather than the hero himself. This has led many to wonder whether Black Adam will show up in a Justice League film or a Man of Steel sequel as a foe before taking on the former Captain Marvel. The other possibility is that Black Adam will be reframed as an anti-hero and get his own solo movie. Johnson is usually known for playing the hero, so casting him as the villain has been a curious development.
We’ll just have to wait and see how things turn out when we finally get some concrete news on Shazam!