Superstar Dwayne Johnson has long been attempting to get his first foray into the superhero genre off the ground with the DCEU's Black Adam. Originally conceived as a rival to Shazam in the comics, the character soon became a popular standalone anti-hero. While announcing his participation in DC Fandome on August 22, Johnson teased a few seconds of footage from his upcoming film where he plays the role of Black Adam, referred to as 'The Man in Black'.
The video shows a silhouette of Dwayne Johnson standing in what appears to be the ruins of a darkened, ancient building. Interestingly, the actor appears to be dressed in his normal, civilian clothing instead of a superhero costume. If the footage is from the actual movie instead of test photography, it means the incredibly long-lived character of Black Adam will join the modern world at some point in the film.
Johnson also took care to establish the fact that his character is not going to be a hero, which is what general audiences might be expecting given the star's family-friendly onscreen persona. In the comics, Black Adam alternates between being shown as a straight-up villain who destroys everything around him in his quest for world domination, to a troubled anti-hero who desires to bring order to the world through any means necessary. In the past, Johnson has confirmed that the character he portrays will belong to a morally grey territory.
"Black Adam, how he starts, he starts off as a villain. Then, he becomes an anti-hero. And then he might become a hero or we might not."
Aside from adding a fan-favorite character to the DCEU, Black Adam's entry will also add Johnson's old-school star power to the franchise, the kind that has been missing since Will Smith exited the role of Deadshot in Suicide Squad.
The journey to getting Black Adam made has been a long and rocky one for Johnson, a journey that began a decade ago, with the project getting delayed for one reason or another for years. In the meantime, Black Adam's arch-enemy, Shazam, made his live-action movie debut to much critical acclaim, and fans are excited to see the two characters face-off on the big screen at some point in the next few years.
Johnson has also made it clear that Black Adam will not be content with battling Shazam alone, but will soon set his sights on the Justice League as well. If handled properly, Adam has the potential to become a fan-favorite anti-hero for the DCEU in the same vein as the MCU's Loki. Directed by Jaume Collet-Serra, Black Adam stars Dwayne Johnson in the lead, with Noah Centineo rumored to be playing a supporting role as Atom Smasher. The film arrives in theaters Dec. 22, 2021.