It has finally been revealed why Dwayne Johnson's Black Adam is not appearing in the upcoming Shazam!, instead starring in a solo Black Adam movie. After James Wan's Aquaman premieres later this year, DC's next film seems to be taking a break from their dark and serious superhero films in order to present a rather comical movie. Asher Angel plays Billy Batson, a young boy who can transform into the superhero Shazam - played by Zachary Levi - with the use of a single magic word.
Rumors of a Shazam! movie have been floating around for the better part of a decade but DC's film finally started to make significant traction when Johnson was cast as Black Adam. At the time of his casting in 2014, Johnson had only just started to become the massive movie star he is today. Granted he had already appeared in the Fast and Furious franchise and starred in several other projects, but in recent years he has become one of the most popular and profitable actors starring in films like Moana, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, and Rampage. Johnson had teased his involvement with a DC film universe project for months prior to his official casting leading fans to believe he was either going to be playing the hero Shazam or villain Black Adam. Several years after Johnson was cast, it was announced that Black Adam would not be appearing in Shazam! but would instead be receiving a solo film. The reasoning behind the decision was unknown at the time, but has finally been explained.
Talking with Collider, production president of Seven Bucks Productions Hiram Garcia explained why they decided to give Shazam and Black Adam their own movies rather than putting them together in one movie. When asked about this decision, Garcia commented, "As we were developing an actual Black Adam and Shazam movie, we were just realizing that both characters are so special that we didn’t want to compromise either of them by cramming them both into the same movie. So that’s why we made the decision to let Shazam have his own standalone movie and kind of launch him properly, and then we’ll do the same for Black Adam. And so that kind of really freed things up. It allowed us to develop the right version of both." The interview also went on to explain that the script for Black Adam is currently being worked on and that the film will stay true to Black Adam's gritty nature.
With as popular as Johnson has become, him starring in his own superhero - or in this case supervillain - movie was bound to happen. Even though it may be disappointing to not see him in Shazam!, it makes sense why they wouldn't want to try to cram two big characters into one movie. This has happened all too often with superhero movies including The Amazing Spider-Man 2 and DC's own Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.
DC may have had some trouble starting out their cinematic universe, but the DC movie universe is looking to have a big year in 2019 with some highly anticipated films being released including Shazam! and Wonder Woman 1984. Despite not having him in Shazam!, it's reassuring to know that Johnson's Black Adam movie has not been forgotten and is currently being worked on.
- Shazam! (2019) release date: Apr 05, 2019
- Wonder Woman 1984 (2020) release date: Jun 05, 2020
- Aquaman (2018) release date: Dec 21, 2018
- Joker (2019) release date: Oct 04, 2019