Signing on to a super hero franchise is often a commitment to more than one film for work which can span more than a decade, in some cases. In the case of Dwayne Johnson, becoming Black Adam to the point where a film with him in the part gets released has taken nearly a decade in the first place. Now, following the release of the film's first trailer, Johnson promises he is committed to a long haul with the character where he can further develop the DC universe on the big screen.
"I am 100% committed to not only Black Adam but then expanding the Black Adam universe, the DC universe," Johnson said when asked by ComicBook.com if he sees himself in this role for years to come during a Q&A with press. "I am an optimist from the word, 'Go.' So, to me and to all of us up here, all universes exist in our heads. I will, we all will, work very hard to make sure we are honoring the mythology but also giving the fans what they want. I hear the fans, we all do, and I pick up everything they're putting down. It doesn't get by me, it doesn't get by these guys [producer Hiram Garcia, producer Beau Flynn, director Jaume Collet-Serra]. This is the beginning, hopefully, fingers crossed, of a very long storytelling road that Black Adam is the anchoring jet fuel now that will then push and press this universe out."
Originally, Black Adam was going to make his live-action debut in the Shazam! movie. Johnson and his team, however, agreed on a conclusion that there was too much story to tell with both the Shazam! character and Black Adam and cramming them into the same film would not serve the characters properly. As a result, Shazam! released in 2019 and Black Adam is finally gearing up to go to movie theaters in October.
"As man of you guys know, this has been a passion project of mine for many, many years," Johnson said. "Myself and Hiram and, of course Beau and Jaume, too, it became our passion project. So, many years ago when you look at he mosaic of the DC universe, Hiram and I looked at, this was about mid-2000s where we were looking at the mosaic of the DC universe and at that time the super hero genre was just kind of kicking off and it was, I think, finding its groove and its footing in our world."
At the time, Warner Bros. was developing a series of films which featured Ben Affleck as Batman, Henry Cavill as Superman, Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman, Jason Momoa as Aquaman, Ezra Miller as The Flash, and Ray Fisher as Cyborg. Man of Steel lead to Batman v. Superman which lead to Justice League. However, plans shifted as the studio decided to head in a new direction with their DC Comics catalog. Still, Black Adam with Dwayne Johnson remained in the cards. "You look at the road map, if you will, of the DC universe and we, at that time with our relationship with Warner Bros., had known they had their plans for, of course, Superman and Wonder Woman, Batman, Flash, Aquaman... but when you look at the comics and the mythology, Black Adam was such a cool character with a really cool, interesting, unique backstory and also blessed with these incredible super powers that I felt like a lot of people didn't know. We were talking about it, so I have been saying now, as you guys know, 'The hierarchy of power in the DC universe is gonna change.' I was saying that years ago and when we would talk to Warner Bros. years ago, one of our pitches was just that. You have a character here I think that people would really gravitate towards and I think really appreciate. This character who hasn't been shown."
In fact, bringing a character to live-action life which has not debuted in such a format was one of the many aspects of Black Adam which appealed to Johnson as he gears up to leave his stamp on the anti-hero and he won't be coming alone. "He's fresh. Let's present it to the world and, also, it's not hyperbole, he is blessed with these powers that are so unique and awesome. He has the ability to change the hierarchy of power in the DC universe and then, coupled with that, it was the opportunity to take [Justice Society of America], who pre-dated Justice League, and, again, these awesome interesting characters, as well. We have the resources, we have the material, we have the IP. We, collectively, can get a hold of it and really take good ownership of it and present it to the world. Years later, here we all are, you guys saw the first trailer."
While the crossovers between Black Adam and Shazam! or the rest of the DC cinematic universe might not be coming in this first outing, Garcia promises they have such events in mind. :It's all part of the mission," Garcia told ComicBook.com exclusively. "In our mind, it's all part of a shared universe. All these guys exist together. We're just focused on telling this story, on telling Black Adam and [Justice Society of America]. But the way we view it and our ambitions for the Universe is this is all shared. And I think you start to feel the ripples of these guys in the Universe."
Are you excited to see Black Adam? Share your thoughts in the comment section! Black Adam hits theaters on October 21, 2022.