Shazam! dropped Black Adam from its narrative early in its development despite being described as a film which would have the two popular DC Comics characters clashing. When the film arrives in theaters, fans of DC Comic will see shades of Black Adam's comic book narrative being applied to Mark Strong's Dr. Thaddeus Sivana villain, especially as they were laid out in the character's New 52 Justice League run.
For Strong, the concept of taking over a role which was once intended for Dwayne Johnson's Black Adam never seemed like what was happening. "I don't know that Black Adam was ever involved to be honest," Strong tells ComicBook.com in the interview featured in the video above. "I think that came about as a rumor that just swirled and swirled and gathered its own momentum and I think it's fun to have that, but Sivana was always the villain, in fact, in the original comic, I think he was the original nemesis in number two, I don't think there was a number one, but he forced the comics days, he was the original nemesis, so I think, yeah, he was always the guy."
As the story goes, Black Adam was not included in Shazam! in favor of allowing the titular hero the proper time to tell his origin story. This will be the focus moving forward for DC Comics movies according to Shazam! producer Peter Safran.
"Yeah I think that is the goal, it is giving heroes their time to shine and not feeling like you have to shoehorn in some universal connection amongst them all," Safran explained. "The studio's been incredibly supportive and DC's been supportive about saying take the time that you need to introduce these characters in the right way and tell the stories that you really want to tell, and that the audiences really want to see with these characters."
Shazam! star Zachary Levi also echoed similar sentiments to those of Strong in regards to Black Adam being cut from this first outing. "Early on before I came on board they had experimented with the possibility of doing a Shazam vs Black Adam movie but I think they felt that that was, you know, it was better to just focus on Shazam first and give him his proper space and not have to also do Black Adam," Shazam! director David F. Sandberg explained to ComicBook.com. "So it was a way of, like, have Sivana take more space and that, actually let him have some powers to play around with. So he could be a formidable foe."
Shazam! hits theaters on April 5.
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