Universal Pictures

Dwayne Johnson has been attached to star as Black Adam since the early ’00s.  Can it be that it’s finally happening?  Heroic Hollywood reports that a source close to the project states that Johnson’s busy schedule has been cleared to shoot this ‘Shazam!’ spin-off in April 2020.  It also confirms that, as previously rumored, the picture will introduce Hawkman, another character with ties to the Middle East that has traded blows with Black Adam in the comics.

Jaume Collet-Serra, who directed Johnson in the upcoming Disney movie ‘Jungle Cruise’ will call the shots behind the camera of ‘Black Adam’.  Adam Sztykiel, who wrote Johnson’s ‘Rampage’, penned this screenplay.

Though he wasn’t named, the character of Black Adam was alluded to in ‘Shazam!’ as the first possessor of the wizard’s magical powers, and the person to whom the seventh (empty) throne belonged.

DC Comics

Johnson has been attached to play Black Adam far longer than there have even been a DC Comics movie shared universe.  During the early ’90s, New Line Cinema had a ‘Shazam!’ film in development, which was ultimately shelved in 2009.

When David F. Sandberg began developing the ‘Shazam!’ movie that finally got made, it was decided that rather than including Black Adam in that film, he’d be given his own.  After ‘Shazam!’ made $364 million at the global box office in April, it makes sense that Warner Brothers would want to rush to get this spin-off out ASAP.

As for Hawkman, he is a long-running DC hero, but isn’t really popular enough to warrant his own film.  He and Black Adam were uneasy allies in the Justice Society of America, during the time that Adam evolved from a straight-up villain into a conflicted antihero.  Hawkman has a complicated backstory, but to put it simply, he is the reincarnation of an ancient Egyptian prince.  Adam, meanwhile, is from the fictional Middle Eastern nation of Khandaq.

While Black Adam has never appeared in live-action before, Hawkman has.  Bill Nuckols played the character in the little-seen 1979 two-part special ‘Legends of the Superheroes’, although he did not speak– just squawked loudly.  More recently, Michael Shanks appeared as Hawkman on ‘Smallville’, and Falk Hentschel played him on ‘Legends of Tomorrow’.

‘Black Adam’ doesn’t have a release date, but if it films next year, as it is rumored to, it should be ready for release in 2021.

Check back for updates!