Black Adam: Justice Society Cast Reveal 10 Key DC Details

Black Adam released its second full trailer on Thursday night, offering the latest look at the next big DC Comics film. This time around, Dwayne Johnson is in the title role carrying out a film 10 years in the making, with Johnson having been in talks for the role and officially joining the DC franchise several years prior to it going into production. Ahead of the release of Black Adam's second trailer, several cast members chatted with members of the press to share some insights about their characters, joining the DC Comics universe, and more.

On hand on the Warner Bros. lot were Hawkman, Cyclone, Adrianna, and Kamir actors, Aldis Hodge, Quintessa Swindell, Sarah Shahi, and Mo Amer, respectively. The enthusiastic bunch fielded a range of questions after the trailer was screened for members of the press. was in attendance, learning plenty of new intel about the characters and story of the film to coincide with the new trailer's release. Black Adam hits theaters in October, so the cast were trying to keep some secrets about the plot and their characters but that did not stop some interesting new insights from making their way into the conversation. 


Left to Right: Quintessa Swindell, Aldis Hodge, Mo Amer, and Sarah Shahi at a trailer preview event for Black Adam

- Brandon Davis /

Aldis Hodge wants to get Hawkman right

Aldis Hodge is taking a lot of pride in his portrayal of Hawkman. Having been a Carter Hall fan for much of his life, the actor hopes and expects that his portrayal of the character in Black Adam will satisfy hardcore fans from DC Comics who are already familiar with the character and newcomers who do not know him very well yet.

"There is a lot of history to figure out where to start with this character, and for me and for what we did, talking to [Black Adam director Jaume Collet-Serra] about what the direction on the narrative was, it really came down to what we know and love as fans," Hodge said. "But then also, how it works and to where we find them with Black Adam in this space, I can't give away the cookies and the details... Everybody got a recorder, so I ain't going to say nothing. I'm going to just say, where we start is, it's a great place for people who know and love what this is. But also, who are looking to discover when it comes to the justice society, when it comes to what we are, and how we're moving, and how we live in this world with Black Adam.

"So if you're a fan, you're going to get what you want. You're going to get what you need. If you're not a fan, if you don't know anything about this, you're going to get everything you need to know to learn about what this is, and you're going to become a fan. So for me, they started this character and this team in the exact right spot for making this whole thing just take off."

(Photo: DC Entertainment)

Everyone loves Pierce Brosnan

Pierce Brosnan is making his way into the DC Comics universe as Doctor Fate. The first looks at the character had previously been revealed but his powers seem to be on full display in the new trailer released on Thursday. As it turns out, Brosnan's real life super power is his compassion and charm.

"I had my kids with us when we were filming, and he was so allowing of these three little assholes to come up to him and my twins were putting their hands all throughout his hair, were farting on him, doing things," Shahi said with a laugh. "And Pierce loved it, was just wonderful. I mean, I'm telling you, I can't say enough good things about that man. He's incredible. Incredible." Each day, it seems Brosnan impressed Shahi and everyone else around. "He is legendary," she added. "Pierce Brosnan is everything you want him to be and more. And would show up to set and be like, 'Sarah,' he'd go, 'Love. Love, pass the salt, love.'"

With Brosnan having been the last major player added to the cast, it provided everyone with an opportunity to collectively geek out. "Say it like this, I think Pierce was the last person that, I think, we all found out about in casting," Hodge said. "They finally let us know. They're like, 'It's Pierce Brosnan.' You're like, 'Oh man.' He really is just, I mean, salt of the earth. Really, the best."


Mo Amer as Karim in Black Adam

- DC Entertainment / WarnerMedia's Black Adam)

Mo Amer's character Karim details

Amer, a comedian outside of his acting career, plays Karim in Black Adam. This means some comic relief is going to be coming from his character but Amer wants everyone to understand that Karim is not to be messed with.

"Karim, I absolutely love this character," he said. "I think he's just the sweetest, has the purest of intentions, doesn't want to get involved with anything, doesn't want to be a part of anything. I love when I read the line of, 'He just wants to watch westerns and wants no part of anything.' And then of course, my sister, she just wants to meddle in all the shit and get us involved in trying to save Kahndaq and bring justice back to the country. And of course, I follow, because I do as I'm told. But he's pure, he's sweet."

When Shahi noted the comic relief coming from Amer's character, Amer turned to other "badass," capabilities. "I describe him as a bear. Bears are cute and sweet from a distance, but you start messing with him and he will f--- you up," Amer said. "He will protect his young and protect his family, and that's the best way I can describe him. But they look warm and cuddly, but don't poke him too much because he might take his claws out and come after you."


Sarah Shahi as Adrianna in Black Adam

- DC Entertainment / WarnerMedia's Black Adam)

Sarah Shahi's character Adrianna is a leader

Shahi, portraying Karim's sister Adrianna, will have a key role in the film. By the sound of it, she will be working closely with Johnson's Black Adam when it comes to turning him into a hero. 

"So, my character in the film, she's sort of the leader of this resistance movement," Shahi revealed. "There's a big, oppressive gang that's coming after the country. And then I'm in charge of defeating them, or getting the troops together to defeat them. And Black Adam, I'm super well aware of the mythology. She's almost like a Indiana Jones meets Lara Croft kind of character. "

As for her thoughts on Black Adam? "She's very excited, the fact that he's there," Shahi said. "And like Mo was saying, meets him with a lot of trepidation at the same time, but she kind of becomes the Black Adam wrangler in a sense."


Noah Centineo as Atom Smasher (left) and Quintessa Swindell as Cyclone (right)

- Warner Bros. Pictures)

Quintessa Swindell practiced dance to be Cyclone

As seen in the new trailer, Swindell's Cyclone moves smoothly and majestically through the world. To bring Cyclone's powers to life on set before the impressive-looking VFX were added, Swindell worked closely with the creatives behind-the-scenes for ideas on how to make Cyclone unique. The answer they landed on: dance.

"I think Jaume and many of our producers, all of them basically, wanted to create something that was very unique and something that we hadn't seen before," Swindell said. "And I think with me, Jaume had approached me and said that he had an idea for this character and the way that she moves, and wanted it to be almost like dance. And for me, that's very fun. Having gone to theater school and just physical movement, physical theater and stuff like that, I started pulling from the elements of people that I had learned... Looking at Alvin Ailey or looking at Martha Graham, Loie Fuller, Isadora Duncan, and all of those references of movement and how they have all of these really broad movements. 

"And then integrating that into this character in a way that we haven't seen someone who harnesses wind move. And so that, for me, the physical element was so important. And as far as, I don't know what you call it. It wasn't body building for me...It's like, what does even the smallest movement do? So that was just really cool. And that's because Jaume allowed us to do that and supported that."


Aldis Hodge as Hawkman

- DC Entertainment / WarnerMedia's Black Adam)

It's dark... and funny, too

As seen in the footage at San Diego Comic-Con and in the new trailer, Black Adam is trying to lean into the gritty, grounded version of a super-powered being but it also wants to bring some levity and humor. The cast was open about how the film will have some darkness which adults may enjoy but also a number of laughs to keep things fun throughout the film.

"I personally love the story. I mean, let's be honest, all superheroes are based off of super rationality, super prophetic understanding," Amer said. "There's the orphan, there's the kid that's lost that finds his way that becomes champion. And this is similar, but yeah, very different. This is also a country that is a fictionalized Middle East. This is something we've never seen before." Amer noted, this, "makes it substantially different," and the movie will be honoring the long-running history of the Justice Society of America from comics.

Shahi had a more distinct stance on the tone of Black Adam. "The amount of places in which Jaume would work with you guys, with all of us, whatever, to make a moment funny. But then also to make sure that it doesn't stick out, because it might be too much or too little or whatever it was," she said. "He brought to light things that weren't on the page, things that I didn't see, and they're funnier. I'm just really excited for you guys to be able to experience it. Even just as a comedy, like yes, it's dark too, but it's very adult in that sense, that it really can offer the comedy and the drama at the same time equally."

"There's a great balance of tone," Hodge added. "That's the thing that I found most impressive about just the filming aspect and then being able to see a cut, was just that the tone was right. Like Sarah said, it is dark but not depressing. Right? You have that levity where you balance out the humor, but it's not caricature silly."

(Photo: DC Comics)

This is the first super hero team and they mean it

The Justice Society of America is the earliest ensemble of super heroes working together as a team from DC Comics (or Marvel Comics, for that matter). Hawkman actor Hodge knows this and wants to make sure you do, too.

"We ain't no new Justice League. We came first. All right? Let's get that straight. Justice Society was the very first superhero team in the existence of ever," Hodge said. 


Viola Davis as Amanda Waller (right) in The Suicide Squad

- DC Entertainment / WarnerMedia's The Suicide Squad)

Amanda Waller is a big secret

As seen in the new trailer for Black Adam, Viola Davis is reprising her role as Amanda Waller. Davis debuted as Waller in Suicide Squad and most recently appeared in the finale of Peacemaker. When asked about Waller's role and relationship to the Justice Society of America, the cast refused to reveal too much.

"You know good and well I can't tell you nothing about how she fits into the story," Hodge said. "All I can say is that I may have exchanged a few words with her. You know what I'm saying? And that's all I can say. But I will say, personally, it was awesome, awesome, awesome to be able to share the screen space with Miss Legendary, Viola Davis."

(Photo: DC Entertainment / WarnerMedia)

The DC world will have a presence, somehow

With Black Adam joining the line of movies which launched with 2013's Man of Steel, one has to wonder if comparison to Superman will be made by characters who see Johnson's character emerge. To that point, the opportunity for cameos in addition to Waller's has DC fans hoping to see some more familiar faces. "It's a DC movie," is all Hodge and Shahi were willing to reveal when asked how the presence of other heroes and events might be felt in Black Adam.

Swindell had more to say. "There's definitely a way to answer that, though," they said. "Because it's like, not that I'm going to give it away. I mean, there's nothing to give away. No, but it's like, when you watch the movie, you can imagine all of it coexisting together. Even considering that it's the first one, or for us, but the world of DC gets a little bit broader. And then there's space for more to come, which I think is the most incredible part about the film."

(Photo: Warner Bros. & Black Adam's latest poster)

Dwayne Johnson elevated the project and everyone in it

Everyone in the cast had praise for Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson when asked by io9's Germain Lussier how his reputation for being one of the hardest working human's on the planet brought that ethic to the set. Whether it was helping promote one of Amer's comedy specials with a video intro or encouraging various forms of hard work, Johnson made sure he and everyone else brought it to Black Adam.

Hodge had a specific example of how Johnson helped improve a sequence in the film and offer an idea which could make Hodge's Hawkman a more likable character. "To Sarah's point, I remember there was one day on set where, I mean, they were constantly working over story, making it... They really were focused on rooting this in some grounded honesty for these characters, their motivations," Hodge explained. "But there was one line that my character had, we were in a tense situation. And I said it, and DJ was like, 'Eh, we got to change that.' You know what I'm saying? And he's like, 'All right, well, let's change it because this comes off a little rough. I think it's going to make him a little bit... People might think he's a little mean. We want them to understand him and root for him. We're not trying to villainize Hawkman in this moment. We're trying to make him... He's leader, but we want to understand. So we're going to switch these lines a little bit. We're going to do this, da-da-da, to give him the space and the platform to be supported here by the audience.'"