Warner Brothers appears to be moving forward with ‘Black Adam’, the long-gestating spinoff of ‘Shazam!’ that has Dwayne Johnson attached to star. The studio is eyeing directors, and one name on their list is Jaume Collet-Serra, who recently directed Johnson in the big-budget Disney feature, ‘Jungle Cruise’. Prior to that, Collet-Serra proved to be an ace when it came to low- to mid-budget thrillers, like ‘House of Wax’, ‘Orphan’, ‘The Shallows’, ‘Run All Night’, and ‘The Commuter’. (The last two starred Liam Neeson.)
Warner Brothers has had plans for a ‘Shazam!’ movie from the start of its cinematic shared universe, which grew out of 2013’s ‘Man of Steel’. The studio worked closely with Johnson, who planned to appear as the villain Black Adam, but in 2017, it was announced that the character wouldn’t be in ‘Shazam!’ but would receive his own stand-alone movie.
In April, Johnson explained:
“This project…we had some challenges and we took a risk. As we were developing this a few years ago, the challenges and the struggles that we were having and that was gnawing at my gut [was] that we were trying to tell two origin stories in one script…. The challenges were, as you guys can imagine, you’re trying to tell two very big origin stories in the world of comic books of this DC Universe—two very important characters—trying to tell both their origin stories in one script. I didn’t think it was working…. We should start shooting [Black Adam] in about a year.”
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There have been numerous rumors about ‘Black Adam’, the film and the character. For a while, it was believed that the character would appear in the sequel to ‘Suicide Squad’ before headlining his own movie, but that was a while back and James Gunn’s upcoming ‘The Suicide Squad’ sounds as though it was a completely written by Gunn, with earlier drafts discarded.
It is also believed that ‘Black Adam’ could introduce cinematic versions of the Justice Society of America, including Hawkman, Stargirl, and Atom-Smasher.
Though Black Adam has typically been depicted as a villain, in more recent years, he has been recast as a conflicted anti-hero. The movie is expected to reflect that interpretation.
There is no release date for ‘Black Adam’ yet.
Johnson and Collet-Serra’s ‘Jungle Cruise’ will be released next year, on July 24, 2020.