by Dwayne Johnson black adam was a long time coming, as the actor has been looking to bring the character to the big screen since 2007. The closest he’s come to getting there was signing on in 2014 for a draft of Shazam!.
While that storyline never ended up becoming a reality, it has already featured both Billy Batson and The Rock’s favorite anti-hero. Instead, the film was revamped to focus solely on its titular hero, who was ultimately played by Zachary Levi in the DC Extended Universe.
That’s not to say things haven’t gone well for Black Adam, though. Although he was left out of this draft, as many have probably already seen, he has his own solo project, which should be out in just over two months.
It’s always hard not to think about what could have been. What if first Shazam! script had been done with Billy and Black Adam in the spotlight? But what stopped it from happening in the first place?
In a new interview, Dwayne Johnson answered this same question.
Johnson canceled the first Shazam script
In an interview with Vanity Fair, Black Adam actor Dwayne Johnson talked about the first version of Shazam! he signed and how those circumstances ended up changing.
Johnson noted that the first draft of the project “was a combination of Black Adam and Shazam,” but that he “I just knew in [his] intestine” that was not the right direction to take:
“When the first draft of the movie came to us, it was a combination of Black Adam and Shazam: two origin stories in one movie… now that was the point, so it wasn’t a total surprise. But when I read that, I just knew in my gut, ‘we can’t do this movie like that. We’d be doing Black Adam an incredible disservice. It would have been nice for Shazam to have had two stories of converging origin in a movie, but not good for Black Adam.
The actor revealed how he “made a phone call” and shared his thoughts on how the studio should “Manufacture [Shazam!] all alone in the tone that [they] want to” and split Black Adam into something completely different:
“I made a phone call… I said, ‘I have to share my thoughts here. It’s very unpopular…’ because everyone was like, ‘Hey, this script is great, let’s make this movie.’ I said, ‘I really think you should do Shazam!, do this movie on your own in whatever tone you want. And I think we should separate that as well.
While the 2019 Shazam! The film included a brief allusion to Black Adam, in the form of a cautionary tale of the mysterious wizard, the character was pretty much cut entirely from the release.
The Rock also shared how excited he was to be able to “delivering a character that has never been seen before:”
“I’m always asked, nine times out of 10, ‘Well, what took them so long? How come we haven’t heard of this character?… We get the chance to deliver a movie, to deliver a character that has never been seen before. There was no other Black Adam.
The Shazam that never was
With the original Shazam! movie starring Black Adam, it’s odd that Zachary Levi’s hero is almost never mentioned when discussing Dwayne Johnson’s anti-hero. You’d think the two would often be mentioned in the same conversations, given their similarities.
Yet, they rarely do. In fact, there doesn’t even seem to be any talk of a big showdown between the two arch-enemies, which is odd to say the least.
Instead, Johnson and fans seem stuck on the idea of his big bad character taking on Henry Cavil’s Superman. In fact, many were convinced that San Diego Comic-Con 2022 would have a big surprise announcement waiting to wow audiences – sadly, nothing like it happened.
The world comes closest to this confrontation is a brief interaction between the two characters in League of DC Superpets.
Given the excitement of seeing Superman or Shazam take on Black Adam, it’s probably safe to assume that at least one of them is in the cards for a future release.
black adam hits theaters on Friday, October 21.