Dwayne Johnson's Black Adam may not make an appearance in Shazam!, but it does do an excellent job setting up the future standalone film. Directed by David F. Sandberg, Shazam is the newest film to come from Warner Bros. and DC Films, but it is also one of the last that will happen on the timeline laid out by their original slate. When confirmation that a Shazam movie was on the way first came though, it was expected to have one major difference from the movie that is now playing in theaters.
WB had hired Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson to play Shazam supervillain Black Adam back in 2014 and it was previously envisioned that the two would face off in Shazam. This plan changed dramatically over the years of development that went into the Billy Batson origin movie, especially as Johnson continued to prove to be one of the biggest movie stars on the globe. Instead of rushing to get Shazam and Black Adam on the same screen, Johnson suggested the best decision would be to split them up and get a Black Adam solo movie in development.
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Although fans were still holding out hope that Johnson would make a brief cameo in Shazam to set up their future clash (especially since he was an executive producer on the film), this does not happen in the film. The movie largely keeps the focus on Billy and Sivana's origins, but that doesn't mean that Shazam completely ignored the one-time Egyptian king. In fact, there's actually a fair amount of set up done for Black Adam in just a few pivotal scenes.
- This Page: Shazam Reveals Black Adam Was The Prior Champion
- Page 2: Black Adam's Solo Movie Could Be A Prequel
The Previous Champion Destroyed The Council Of Wizards
When Billy Batson first enters the Rock of Eternity, he meets the last Wizard remaining from the Council of Wizards. The seven wizards are in charge of protecting all forms of magic across the world, using the wisdom of Solomon, the strength of Hercules, the stamina of Atlas, the power of Zeus, the courage of Achilles, and the speed of Mercury to do so. While the Wizard (played by Djimon Hounsou) wants to pass these abilities on to Billy, he first explains why he is the last remaining wizard and being so careful to find someone pure of heart to take over.
The Wizard explains that the Council chose a predecessor in the past "recklessly" and not doing their due diligence came back to haunt them. The selected champion took advantage of these powers for his own gain and wreaked havoc across the world. He released the Seven Deadly Sins upon the world, and through their combined powers erased entire civilizations from the face of the Earth. When the Council confronted the champion about these actions, he killed every member except the wizard known as Shazam.
It is not known what happened to the champion after this, but it would appear that he was subdued in some fashion. While Shazam shows enough restraint to not actually name drop who this prior evil champion is, his evil tendencies and back story sure sound a lot like a certain Kahndaq native.
Black Adam Was The Last Champion
That's right, all of this backstory given to the Council of Wizards was actually Shazam's way of establishing Black Adam in the DC universe. In the comics, Teth-Adam aka Black Adam is an Egyptian slave who has seen the dictators of the country slaughter most of his family. Adam helped save his last living nephew Aman from captivity, but Adam was severely injured during their attempted escape. The two were magically transported to the Rock of Eternity at this point, where the wizard Shazam chose Aman to be the next champion and healed Adam in the process.
Aman was tasked with freeing Kahndaq from its rulers, but the kid envisioned a world where they would not be punished for their crimes. Adam did not believe this was the rightful outcome for these men after spending years of his life being mistreated as one of their slaves. Their differences results in Adam killing his nephew and taking the powers for himself.
Page 2 of 2: Black Adam's Solo Movie Could Be A Prequel
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