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We learned that Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson will be playing Black Adam in the DC Extended Universe in late 2014, around the same time as Warner Bros announced the initial slate of films in this franchise. It was originally presumed that Black Adam would be the main antagonist in Shazam, but ever since it was announced the Johnson would lead a Black Adam movie, there have been rumors that Black Adam won't appear in the World's Mightiest Mortal's upcoming movie. Now DC Chief Creative Officer Geoff Johns has set the record, confirming that Black Adam will not appear in Shazam. Johns said:
We haven't announced any casting yet. But Dwayne isn't going to be in this movie. He's still doing Black Adam, but he won't be in Shazam!
During an interview with Yahoo Movies, Geoff Johns revealed that DC is planning out Shazam and Black Adam concurrently, and that even though Black Adam's DCEU debut is being saved for his solo movie, the plan is to eventually have these two mighty forces clash in the future. So even though Black Adam won't be present in Shazam, we can still expect Billy Batson and Teth-Adam to battle each other somewhere down the line, whether that's in Shazam 2 or another movie.
Dwayne Johnson was originally supposed to appear as Black Adam in the Shazam movie was that was being developed last decade, long before the DC Extended Universe was a thing. Years after that project was scrapped, Johnson got a second chance to play the anti-hero in the DC Extended Universe, and since then he's talked numerous times about why Black Adam appeals to him. In the time between when the original Shazam movie was being developed and the DC Extended Universe launched, Johnson's movie career has soared, but it was nonetheless surprising to learn earlier this year that Black Adam will get his own movie. While this will be yet another opportunity for Johnson to shine in the spotlight, no doubt there are many Shazam (or Captain Marvel, if you prefer) fans who are disappointed to know for sure we won't see Black Adam in Shazam, but at least there will eventually come a day where audiences will see Black Adam and Shazam come to blows on the big screen.
While a Black Adam movie is still a priority for Warner Bros and DC, it looks like Shazam will be the first of the two out of the gate. Lights Out's David F. Sandberg will direct the movie, and production will reportedly begin early next year so it will be ready in time for a 2019 release. With Black Adam ruled out as Shazam's main antagonist, it's unclear who will take that spot. Shazam has a decently-sized rogues gallery, but arguably the only other villain from that group who matches Black Adam in notoriety is Doctor Sivana, a mad scientist who relies on crazy inventions to try to defeat Shazam.
Keep checking back with CinemaBlend for more updates on Shazam, Black Adam and the rest of the DCEU.