Although the DC Extended Universe has experienced a few bumps in the road, it’s getting a major boost from the box office muscle of Suicide Squad. The supervillain team-up is the third release from Warner Bros.’ shared universe, with more films like Wonder Woman, Justice League, and Aquaman in various phases of production. Following the first metahuman assembly, the DCEU will take a mystical turn when Shazam! bursts onto the screen in 2019.
Long in the works, the exploits of Billy Batson and the Marvel Family has been championed by none other than Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. The wrestler-turned-actor has long coveted a role as Shazam or Black Adam, deciding eventually to portray the curious antihero.
Thanks to illustrator and fan Juan Martinez, DC devotees can get an idea of what The Rock would look like as Black Adam. In Martinez’ sharp composition, rendered from a Batman V Superman still, Adam is shown in a misty scene, smack dab in the middle of an irate-looking Superman and Batman. Take a look at Dwayne Johnson-Black Adam mashup below:
While a long ways away, the Shazam! movie will explore new turf in the DCEU. Superman and Wonder Woman certainly have unusual origins – one being an extraterrestrial and the other being the daughter of Greek God Zeus (at least as of recently) – but Shazam is straight up magic. In Geoff Johns‘ re-envisioning known as The New 52, Billy Batson starts out as a troubled teen, before convincing the Wizard of the Rock of Eternity to endow him with mystical powers (when he says the word “shazam”) When charged up, he has access to a wealth knowledge and superhuman powers, even when he shares them with his Marvel Family.
In a similar fashion, Black Adam also received an update in The New 52. The former Egyptian slave was gifted the same power as Captain Marvel and initially used it to fight oppression. Unfortunately, he was overwhelmed by his need for vengeance. The contemporary version of the classic villain still winds up a complicated character, hence his antihero status in the current DC lexicon. It’s these nuances which likely attracted Johnson to the character, as well as being the reason Johnson and the Shazam!’s other producers seem more than happy with an extensive development period, which allows them to perfect the film for its entry into the DCEU.
Johnson has claimed that Black Adam may even join the Justice League, much like his New 52 version did for a time. Whether or not the conflicted antagonist will become a hero is still up in the air. But he sure looks intense when facing off against the JLA. It would be an exciting twist to have a few classic antagonists ‘Reborn’ as heroes in the DCEU. However, that chapter isn’t likely to be written in the annals of the Justice League until the distant future.
Suicide Squad is in theaters now. Wonder Woman opens on June 2, 2017; Justice League on November 17, 2017; Aquaman on July 27, 2018; an untitled DC Film on October 5, 2018; Shazam! on April 5, 2019; Justice League 2 on June 14, 2019; an untitled DC film on November 1, 2019; Cyborg on April 3, 2020; and Green Lantern Corps on July 24, 2020. The Flash, the Batman solo movie and Man of Steel 2 are currently without release dates.
Source: Juan Martinez
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