Dwayne Johnson, who plays slave-turned-superbeing Teth-Adam in Black Adam, warns his anti-hero will be a "ruthless keeper of justice" when he smashes his way into the DC Extended Universe. Hailing from the ancient civilization Kahndaq, the enslaved Teth-Adam is granted immense power by the wizard Shazam (Djimon Hounsou) — power he uses for revenge, unleashing the Seven Deadly Sins into the world. Freed after 5,000 years, Black Adam vows he'll never be stopped again, not even by the combined might of the Justice Society of America: Atom Smasher (Noah Centineo), Cyclone, Doctor Fate, and Hawkman.
"There are many variations and iterations of Black Adam that we have all fallen in love with over the years, and what I can promise you is a Black Adam that I feel in my heart is the right one to root our story in the beginning, this origin story," Johnson said during DC FanDome Saturday when presenting an exclusive new look at Black Adam. "This is a character that will possess all the qualities that we have loved, regardless of what variation of Black Adam you've loved."
Describing the anti-hero as a "ruthless keeper of justice," Johnson added, "He is the judge, the jury, and the executioner, and he believes in an eye for an eye. He will always do everything he can to protect his people, more so protect his family."
The wizard has selected a new champion in street-wise teenager Billy Batson (Asher Angel), who utters a magic phrase to transform into his adult-sized superhero alter-ego (Zachary Levi). This champion exists in a world with a Superman (Henry Cavill) and a Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot), two Justice Leaguers who might come to find out Black Adam is "one of the most powerful superheroes, anti-heroes, villains, whatever you want to call him."
"The superheroes have to exhibit a little bit of restraint when it comes to taking care of the bad guys if you will, or taking care of the people who are opposite them, who are opposing them who are in their way," Johnson added when teasing his character's raw strength. "But this idea that you could take all of Black Adam's powers, and he does not practice restraint. That makes for a really powerful combination, and one that's explosive one that's very dangerous, and one that is very likable — to me, at least."
Directed by Jaume Collet-Serra, Black Adam releases on December 22, 2021.