The journey to the big screen for Black Adam has been a long one. The decision to cast Dwayne Johnson as the villain of Shazam took place even before hiring a director. Then in 2017, Black Adam became its own project apart from Shazam. Due to the pandemic, the film was not released in 2021. The global crisis, and other scheduling conflicts, resulted in Black Adam now having a release date of October 22nd, 2022. Eager fans and doubters got a glimpse of the film when the trailer came out a few weeks ago. Did it make the impact that Warner Bros. Discovery hoped for? It was well received, but Black Adam‘s trailer was overshadowed by darker news.
As for the trailer, I thought it was actually pretty fun and highlighted Johnson’s strengths. Another positive is that the director, Jaume Collet-Serra, directed last year’s blockbuster hit Jungle Cruise; also starring Johnson. With a catalog that includes guilty pleasure films such as The Shallows and Non-Stop, audiences will be in for an entertaining ride when the film hits theaters. So why make a whole article on a DC project that very much feels like a safe bet?
Well, for starters, Black Adam will be the first DCEU film under Warner Bros. Discovery president David Zaslav, not including The Batman. This puts a lot of pressure on the Dwayne Johnson vehicle to do well.
The actor portraying Black Adam is another thing that significantly impacts this project. It’s not a stretch to state that Dwayne Johnson is one of the last remaining “action” movie stars. Capable of captivating crowds and planting butts in theater seats. The star shines in smash hits like Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle and Hobbs and Shaw and even modest hits like Rampage and San Andreas. And don’t forget that Netflix’s highest rated movie last year, Red Notice, starred Johnson.
Johnson has something else in common with one of his co-star’s of that particular Netflix film. Much like Ryan Reynolds’ 2016 film Deadpool, Black Adam is a passion project for Dwayne Johnson. Johnson’s own company, Seven Buck Productions, is producing the film. This has given him more creative freedom to market and enhance the project how he wants. Perhaps this is why Dwayne Johnson assembled a strong cast which includes veteran actor Pierce Brosnan as DC character Dr. Fate.4d44
Johnson’s large role on the project should also help the rest of the DCEU slate. Why does this matter exactly? Well, if you have not heard the DCEU has been in the news recently for all the wrong reasons. Particularly when it comes to the one film which is the key to this shared cinematic universe’s future – The Flash. It is mainly because the star of the film, Ezra Miller, can’t seem to stay out of the news. The reports paint the image of a very narcissistic monster. It seems every week a new accusation of grooming or harassment is disclosed to the public.
But The Flash is only one DCEU project recently raising red flags about the companies future. Let’s start with Aquaman 2 which features actress Amber Heard. Due to the revelations that came to light during the actresses defamation case involving actor Johnny Depp, both the project and her status in it remain uncertain. Most recently David Zaslav, the new head of Warner Bros Discovery, has canceled projects; including the 90 million dollar Batgirl.
Even with the above mentioned concerns, I am actually quite excited about the current slate of films. Collectively called “Post-Justice League”, this slate includes hits such as Shazam, Birds Of Prey, The Suicide Squad, and The Batman. I am even still excited for The Flash regardless of the controversy surrounding its main star.
The DCEU is going through a PR nightmare with no set path forward. There may be even more to come to grips with before all is said and done; the future is uncertain. But If Black Adam does well like I’m hoping then the future of DCEU won’t seem as bleak as it is now. Like the characters he portrays, Dwayne Johnson is famous for being larger than life . He’ll keep marching forward with a bounce in his step and an inviting smile on his face.
In the words of the great man himself,
The Hierarchy Of Power Is About To Change!