The SHAZAM-related news just keeps coming. There’s talk that Dwayne Johnson’s Black Adam would appear in Suicide Squad 2. And now the Black Adam solo film has a writer officially attached to the project. Adam Sztykiel, co-writer of Rampage, another Dwayne Johnson project, is on board for the project. Johnson took to Twitter not long ago to confirm the addition of the DCEU talent roster.
Excited to expand the DC Universe w/ writer Adam Sztykiel (co-wrote @rampagethemovie) and bring this complex & gritty anti-hero to the big screen. This character’s in my bones. Ruthless code. #Kneel #BlackAdam⚡️https://t.co/mGUKIQAcSP
— Dwayne Johnson (@TheRock) November 8, 2017
Johnson has been attached to the project for some time, now. He’s been incredibly enthusiastic about it as well, sharing his love of the character on multiple occasions.
“I love the idea that is backstory is that he starts off as a slave. I feel like when somebody is oppressed that way but has a bigger ambition and a greater belief than the oppression that’s holding him down – that’s a powerful place to be. [His] family getting killed, coming back from that; There’s a lot of elements about Black Adam that have attracted me for a very, very, very, very, very long time.”
However, unlike the SHAZAM film, which has been churning out no end of casting news, progress on Black Adam has been slow. The film has no confirmed cast aside from Johnson, and no director. It makes perfect sense. The character is best known as the archenemy of Billy Batson, despite being an anti-hero. Therefore it’s logical to introduce Billy to the world beforehand. Then create the Black Adam film around SHAZAM’s framework.
There is still the question of how Black Adam will come across in the film. In the comics, Adam is not altogether evil. He is militant, arrogant, and cold. Having as much power as he does, his world view is dangerous. He’s a valiant hero at heart, but a time bomb whose personal ideals often clash with those of his allies. Ultimately he’s a fairly tragic character. That being said, the description Johnson gave seems far closer to the New52 version. That rendition of the character is far less complex in the long run, and arguably less interesting. But he also wasn’t given a large amount of time to develop as a character. So the direction they take will be interesting.
Whatever they do, it’s certain to be something a bit different than what we’ve been getting. A film about an anti-hero that isn’t played for laughs is something that only DC has really considered. Both this and the announced Deathstroke film work in that regard. The MCU doesn’t really have anything like that (movie wise, at least). The nearest would be Deadpool, which is owned by Fox, at least for the time being. Black Adam is not a “funny” character. He is grim and intense. So this could be a film of the genre that takes a fresher direction.
No release date has been confirmed for Black Adam. However, SHAZAM thunders into theaters April 5, 2019