The goal for Dwayne Johnson’s superhero project Black Adam is to be inventive and “reshape what a comic book movie is,” says cinematographer Lawrence Sher, who boarded the project after shooting the Todd Phillips-directed Joker for Warner Bros. Black Adam reunites Johnson with his Jungle Cruise director Jaume Collet-Serra, and Johnson describes the titular anti-hero as a “rebellious, one of a kind superhero” who will “always do what’s right for the people — but he does it his way.” Traditionally the arch enemy of Shazam (Zachary Levi) in the DC comic books, Black Adam is a role “unlike any other” Johnson has played in his blockbuster career — and his first superhero movie looks to carve out its own space in the comic book movie genre.
“One of my interests about it is to continue to sort of — and we’ve talked about it with Dwayne and obviously with Jaume and DC — can we continue to sort of reshape what a comic book movie is?” Sher said during a Joker Q&A hosted by Collider. “Like yes, of course you want it to be entertaining and it has to make a decent amount of money so it can’t live in such a fringe place that it doesn’t bring people in, but can we do something inventive? So that’s the goal is to continue to try to do something a bit inventive with it.”
Johnson’s Seven Bucks Productions partner Hiram Garcia previously told ComicBook.com their anti-hero is one who is family-driven and acting on a moral compass — “skewed as it may be” — and he's a super-powered figure who is “never opposed to unleashing hell when you cross him.”
“Those are things that we love about him because he’s complicated,” Garcia said. “He’s not just justice for all. And he’s not just a villain. This is a guy who’s complex, who’s had many things happen to him and that all shows in his actions. So this a guy who’s going through a journey. He will find himself, but where it goes, you guys will have to find out. But believe me, we know as a huge fan myself, this is a guy who is complicated and vicious.”
In October, Johnson revealed the movie — a 10-plus-year passion project for Johnson — goes into production in July. Warner Bros. then unleashes Black Adam Dec. 22, 2021.