Last month, a rumor swirled that Dwayne Johnson's Black Adam won't be featured in the upcoming Shazam! movie, but instead will get his own spin-off, which has now been confirmed by Shazam director David F. Sandberg. The director, who is promoting his new thriller Annabelle: Creation, confirmed that Dwayne Johnson has in fact been cast as Black Adam, and that there were earlier scripts that did feature the character in this movie, but now it will solely focus on the Shazam! character. Here's what the director had to say below.
"So, The Rock has been cast as Black Adam, but he's not going to be featured in this film. There've been variations of the script, like before I came along, where, you know, variations where Black Adam was in and out and, you know. But now, this is about Shazam."
During his interview with Film Riot, the filmmaker also confirmed a recent report that Shazam is the next DC movie to go into production, following Aquaman, although he wouldn't specify when and where the filming will take place. It was originally believed that movies such as Ben Affleck's The Batman or Gotham City Sirens may get the jump on Shazam!, but now the director has confirmed it will be the next DC movie to go into production. The initial report claimed filming will start in February 2018, although that date wasn't confirmed yet, and there is still a lot to be done before then, such as casting the title character and the rest off the supporting cast. When asked about what Shazam! comics he's been reading in preparation for this new directorial gig, David F. Sandberg had this to say.
"I'm taking it all in. Some of those really old ones are quite fun, when he's, like, fighting Hitler. Stuff like that. No, 'cause he's been around since the '40s for, like, as long as Superman. So there's a lot to read and that's also interesting because he sort of has a couple of different origin stories or a couple of different takes on it. You know, you have the most recent sort of Geoff Johns version and then you have Ordwell version and then you have those really old versions. It's going to be interesting, just because how hardcore the fans are. Already, if I tweet a little something, suddenly there's blog post, and no matter what you do, some people will be disappointed."
David F. Sandberg came aboard to direct back in February, with Henry Gayden (Earth to Echo) writing the script. If production does in fact begin in February 2018, then it's certainly possible the director and studio could hit the April 5, 2019 release date that was set several years ago, and believed to be set aside for this movie, although it has yet to be confirmed. Still Shazam! could also take either the February 14, 2020 or the June 5, 2020 dates that were set aside by Warner Bros. last month.