With Shazam! originally having planned to include Black Adam, a change came early in the film's development making a major difference for both DC Comics characters. Zachary Levi's titular Shazam! character would get his own origin story before Dwayne Johnson's Black Adam would get his own movie. The goal is to eventually have the two come face to face on the big screen, however, the filmmakers wisely split them up early on to ensure proper depth for each character.
"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."
When Shazam! hits theaters early next month, fans of DC Comics will see that the filmmakers shifted much of Black Adam's story from the Justice League comics in the New 52 run into that of Mark Strong's Sivana for the movie. According to Levi, this isn't a move made by removing Black Adam from the film, but there was always a plan to have Sivana be this key villain from the time he got involved.
"By the time I got the script, Black Adam was no longer a part of the initial Shazam! offering of this first film and I think that was a very intelligent decision made by everyone involved, including The Rock, who is still to this point attached to play Black Adam," Levi explained in the video above. "Because trying to do two origin stories that you'd really -- and by the way, our movie does that a little bit. You get some origin for Sivana but you'd have to spend a heck of a lot more explaining Black Adam and explaining Billy Batson and Shazam! and so its like how did we get all that without feeling like we're diluting everything. So, the collective powers that be all were like 'Hey, let's just, we'll break it up,' so by the time I saw a script it was Shazam! and Sivana was the baddie."
The current status of the Black Adam character remains unclear but Shazam! producer Peter Safran appears confident in his imminent arrival. "Listen, we don't know but I've gotta believe that there's gonna be a standalone Black Adam movie before there's ever a movie with Shazam and Black Adam sharing the screen," Safran explained.
Are you happy to see Black Adam was removed from Shazam! in favor of his own outing before the two DC Comics characters clash on screen? Share your thoughts in the comment section or send them my way on Twitter, @BrandonDavisBD!
Shazam! hits theaters on April 5.