Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson will not be making his DC Extended Universe debut in Shazam! after all. Johnson was one of the earliest additions to the DCEU - back before it even went by that - as he chose to play villain/anti-hero Black Adam instead of taking on the leading role of Shazam. Since he joined, his ever growing stardom has resulted in some changes to how Black Adam will be used. This became abundantly clear when it was announced that he's getting a solo Black Adam movie now.
The news immediately put his role in Shazam! into question, with audiences either scheduled to see him as the villain of the film or his origin first. Word recently got out that Shazam's production schedule could result in Black Adam being absent, and DC Films president Geoff Johns has confirmed that to be the case.
Yahoo asked Johns about these reports of Black Adam possibly being left out of Shazam! and he confirmed that it is indeed true. Despite only having a director, the project is moving along in preparation for the start of production early next year. Thanks to Johnson's busy schedule and Black Adam's shifting role in the DCEU, Shazam! will be looking for a new villain.
We haven’t announced any casting yet, but Dwayne isn’t going to be in this movie. He’s still doing Black Adam, but he won’t be in Shazam!
Losing Black Adam as the villain of Shazam! is disappointing, but the loss of Johnson and his box office pull could be a bigger hit in the long run. General audiences do not know who Billy Batson is and how he has the ability to become a superhero, but The Rock's recent track record shows what he can do for a franchise. With Black Adam now out, Shazam! will feature a new, unknown villain, and Warner Bros. could look at fellow DCEU stars to cameo in the film to further boost the appeal.
Johnson has previously discussed how his solo movie and Shazam! are part of DC's world building. Bringing in the magical components to both characters and their ancient histories could open up new doors for the DCEU to explore. With Black Adam's development still largely in the dark, it is now unclear when audiences will get to see Johnson's DC role for the first time. He's previously teased a surprise debut - leading to speculation of a Justice League cameo - so the studio does have something in mind for him. We don't know when or where or how it will happen, except for that it won't be in Shazam!
- Justice League (2017) release date: Nov 17, 2017
- Aquaman (2018) release date: Dec 21, 2018
- Shazam! (2019) release date: Apr 05, 2019
- Cyborg (2020) release date: Apr 03, 2020
- Green Lantern Corps. (2020) release date: Jul 24, 2020