Black Adam director Jaume Collet-Serra talks about how the DC character will be very different for Dwayne Johnson compared to his other roles. One of DC’s movies that has been in the works for quite some time is Black Adam starring Dwayne Johnson as the titular character. Johnson landed the role in 2014 before there even was a Black Adam film on the table. He was first going to make his debut in Shazam.
Now, Johnson will be bringing the DC player to life in his first live-action adaptation this fall. Rather than being the traditional villain like in the comics, Black Adam is re-imagining Johnson’s character as an anti-hero who will have his origin story told in the highly anticipated film. Black Adam, which will net Johnson one of his biggest paydays of all time, will serve as a crucial chapter for the DCEU going forward, including the seemingly inevitable clash with Zachary Levi’s Shazam.
With Johnson’s Black Adam finally nearing its debut, the actor made a splash at San Diego Comic-Con, appearing in the character’s superhero suit. Following Wanrer Bros.’ Hall H panel, director Jaume Collet-Serra spoke to Collider and spoke in depth about how Black Adam is the “main source of conflict” in the story. Collet- Serra points out that Johnson is traditionally a protagonist in his films, but the upcoming DC movie will take the actor in a new direction. Read what the director had to say below:
“I think in this movie, like Adam is undoubtedly the main source of conflict in the movie. And I think that that was a very interesting take, because normally, a character that Dwayne would play in a movie would be the solution to the problem. Right? Like there’s an earthquake. So here comes Dwayne to the rescue, right? Which is great. That’s the normal movie, even in Jungle Cruise. Here’s the thing, Dwayne is a hero. In this one, he was the problem for everybody else. And I think that that shift is what made these movies instantly different and reenergized. You could do things that you might have seen in other movies, but in a completely different way, because it’s not your lead guy doing them.”
Black Adam, unlike the majority of superheroes in the DC universe (and beyond), is willing to take lives in order to stop evil. That is likely how the Justice Society of America comes into play in Black Adam, as they go after Johnson’s anti-hero for his homicidal tendencies. The DCEU’s Justice Society will consist of Doctor Fate, Hawkman, Cyclone, and Atom-Smasher and this will mark the team’s first cinematic interpretation. Even though they are all heroes, their ideologies are what will make them clash, with Black Adam seen as a “villain” in their eyes.
Given how many hero-like characters Johnson has played over the last 15+ years, it will be exciting to see the actor take a new approach with this antagonistic role in Black Adam. Since the DCEU launched, there haven’t been a lot of morally grey heroes in the franchise (save for Zack Snyder’s attempt at darkening Superman). While the DCEU has the Suicide Squad, that team consists mostly of villains having to operate for the government. With Johnson’s character bringing a new layer that toys with the idea of heroism, Black Adam could pave the way for future DC movies to further examine the type of hero Johnson’s character is.
- DC League of Super-Pets (2022)Release date: Jul 29, 2022
- Black Adam (2022)Release date: Oct 21, 2022
- Shazam! Fury of the Gods (2022)Release date: Dec 21, 2022
- Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom (2023)Release date: Mar 17, 2023
- The Flash (2023)Release date: Jun 23, 2023
- Blue Beetle (2023)Release date: Aug 18, 2023