As many suspected, Dwayne Johnson will not be contained by the Shazam! movie alone. Instead, he will play the villain in that movie. And he'll also be getting his own standalone adventure for Black Adam, a DC character who has long been viewed as an anti-hero.
Deadline announced this exciting news, which comes just after Dwayne Johnson had a long meeting with the DC Films team. Shazam! has officially morphed into a 2-Part movie, but it isn't known which installment will come first. Black Adam and Shazam! will launch a new DC franchise for The Rock, with the movies tying into the DCEU while also being their own thing. Here is what Dwayne Johnson had to say in a Facebook post following his recent meeting with the heads of DC.
"Had a very cool and strategic meeting with the heads of DC Comics about their entire universe. As a hard core DC fan, to get a real sense of the tonal shifts and developments coming in these future movies has me fired up. Something we, as DC fans have all been waiting for. Hope, optimism & FUN. I'm excited about our future together and you should be to. Even when talking about the the most ruthless villain/anti-hero of all time finally coming to life. Prepare yourselves DC Universe. #KneelAtHisFeet #OrGetCrushedByHisBoot #BlackAdam"
New Line Cinema has spent over ten years developing the Shazam movie as a showcase for Dwayne Johnson, who has been attached to the title since 2008, first talking about the movie while doing press all the way back when his TV-to-Movie adaptation of Get Smart was hitting theaters.
Shazam is being developed concurrently with Black Adam, and both installments will star Dwayne Johnson in the lead, even with Shazam at the forefront of the title for one of the installments. Shazam has not yet been cast. It is said that Dwayne Johnson's recent meeting with DC completely reconfigured this particular standalone franchise for the popular comic book character.
Warner Bros. executives decided that it made no sense to have a star as big as the Rock being relegated to the role of villain, which is the main reason why Black Adam is now getting his own movie. The Black Adam movie will mirror recent elements in the DC Comics title of the same name, which finds the anti-hero fighting against those that seek to enslave his people.
At this time, no writer or director are attached to Black Adam. Shazam, however, does have a script that has been worked on by Henry Gayden. The story centers on Billy Batson, a teenager who becomes the superhero when he says the magic word "Shazam!" The name is an acronym for six gods and heroes of the ancient world as well as their attributes. The wisdom of Solomon, the strength of Hercules, the stamina of Aries, the power of Zeus, the courage of Achilles and the speed of Mercury.