It was really only a matter of time before Dwayne Johnson’s hulking on-screen presence landed him a role in a superhero movie. Marvel would have been the obvious choice for The Rock, but Johnson has actually been eyeing the DCEU (DC Extended Universe) for many years now, specifically a role as ancient (anti-) superhero Black Adam. Well, it’s happened, and today we’ve finally got a look at Dwayne Johnson alongside co-stars Pierce Brosnan, Noah Centineo, Quintessa Swindell, Aldis Hodge and Sarah Shahi in the first official Black Adam trailer. And look, “epic” is always a lazy word thrown around whenever DC or Marvel drop a trailer in the grossly oversaturated market for superhero films. However, set to an appropriately magnificent remix of The Throne’s ‘Murder to Excellence,’ this official trailer from Warner Bros is epic.
With the DC Universe movie scheduled for several final reshoots ahead of its October 21st, 2022 release date, Black Adam looks to satiate the hunger for anti-hero movies, which have honestly been working well for DC with the likes of Joker (and no doubt its upcoming sequel, Joker: Folie à Deux. It also seems like the film will largely ignore Black Adam’s connections to Shazam! which also makes it somewhat similar to Joker in that that Batman connections were only vaguely worked into the movie, keeping it centred on Arthur Fleck’s origin story.
For anyone unfamiliar with Shazam! Black Adam is known as one of the main antagonists for the superhero. And while the Black Adam trailer seemingly refuses to paint the immensely powerful anti-hero is a full-blown villain, you can easily tell that this will be a much darker, more sophisticated take on the superhero genre more akin to The Boys than something like Superman.
And that’s an important point to bring up because, if it isn’t just a coincidence, it’s looking like DC has finally cottoned onto something that works particularly well for them in the brand’s eternal struggle against the unequivocally more successful and unstoppable Marvel Cinematic Universe.
The official Black Adam synopsis goes something like this:
“Nearly 5,000 years after he was bestowed with the almighty powers of the ancient gods – and imprisoned just as quickly – Black Adam (Johnson) is freed from his earthly tomb, ready to unleash his unique form of justice on the modern world.”
“Unique” is the key word Unlike most of the characters across both DC and Marvel, Black Adam seemingly has no problem with killing people in brutal ways if anyone threatens his country or his people. The stark contrast to the Batman and Superman way of doing things is even referenced in the trailer as Hawkman (Aldis Hodge) confronts Dwayne Johnson with the simple phrase “heroes don’t kill people.” Black Adam’s response – “Well, I do.”
Black Adam is based on the DC Comics character created by Otto Binder and C.C. Beck, transposed and translated into what you’ll see in the trailer by director Jaume Collet-Serra (The Shallows, Jungle Cruise) and screenwriters Rory Haines and Sohrab Noshirvani.
Considering Haines and Noshirvani penned the script for the excellent Jodie Foster and Benedict Cumberbatch film The Mauritanian, DC’s story should be in very reliable hands.
Also on the crew are producers Dany Garcia and Hiram Garcia of Seven Bucks Productions along with FlynnPicturesCo’s Beau Flynn.
The other most notable presence in the film is Pierce Bronson. One of the greatest James Bond actors in history will be portraying the co-leading role as the dastardly-looking Doctor Fate, a character that has enough of a dense backstory to justify his own film which may or may not be added to the DCEU in a while.
Black Adam has become somewhat of a passion project for The Rock, who has wanted to zip into this anti-hero for a long time now. When Dwayne Johnson commits to a franchise, he really commits. So it’s more than likely Black Adam will be the first in a much wider franchise than will definitely spawn a second film and perhaps even more after that. Although anything beyond this trailer and the official Black Adam release date is, of course, speculation right now.
That being said, producer Dany Garcia did give strong hints to Variety that the entire cast & crew of Black Adam are committed to taking this thing as far as it can go. Of course, it all comes down to Box Office performance. But given Dwayne Johnson is involved, and it will be his debut in the superhero film landscape, I don’t think potential commercial performance is up for debate.
After being in the works for close to 15 years, the Black Adam release date has finally been set and the movie will be hitting cinemas on October 21st, 2022.