DC movie fans got a serious case of whiplash last fall, when Dwayne " The Rock" Johnson's Black Adam movie was released in theaters. Black Adam ended with the (not so) surprise reveal that Henry Cavill's Superman had made a return to the DC Universe. The Rock not only brought back Cavill's Superman in a post-credits scene, but he also announced in the press that plans to have his Black Adam eventually fight Cavill's Superman were also in the works.
The future that Dwayne Johnson laid out was quickly swept away when Warner Bros. Discovery announced a DC franchise reboot under the new imprint of DC Studios, while Black Adam was still in theaters. Soon after the reveal that the DC Universe was starting over again, The Rock confirmed that his Black Adam was not in the immediate plans for DC Universe: Chapter One; the studio also confirmed that Cavill would NOT be the Superman of the new franchise, which is will start with a Superman reboot film, Superman: Legacy, written by James Gunn.
Dwayne Johnson has offered statements on how he met with James Gunn, and how he respects the decision to not move on with the Black Adam franchise right now. However, it was on the red carpet for the 2023 Oscars that The Rock addressed the situation with DC Studios deciding to recast Henry Cavill's Superman:
"All that I can do, and all that we could do when we were making Black Adam, was to put our best foot forward and surround ourselves with the best people and deliver the best movie we could," Johnson told Variety. "Our audience score was in the 90s. Critics took a couple of shots, but that's just the business of it."
As for the specific issue of DC Studios heads James Gunn and Peter Safran deciding to recast Henry Cavill as Superman, this is what Johnson had to say:
"It's almost like when you have a pro football team and your quarterback wins championships and your head coach wins championships and then a new owner comes in and says, 'Not my coach, not my quarterback. I'm going to go with somebody new.'"
Dwayne Johnson is one of the new co-owners of the XFL football league, so the metaphor makes sense for him – even if it's questionable in accuracy. Johnson is alluding to Cavill as the star QB and presumably Zack Snyder as the coach; while Cavill and Snyder both have diehard fans of their version of DC's most iconic superhero, Man of Steel, Batman v Superman, and Justice League were all highly divisive films. Framing them as a hit franchise suddenly under new ownership is going a little far...
Black Adam and Man of Steel can both be streamed on HBO Max.1comments