Although Black Adam was initially depicted as a traditional super villain and still serves as an adversary for Shazam, nowadays he’s more of an anti-hero, who will occasionally team up with superheroes. Arguably the most notable example of this in the comics is when he was a member of the Justice Society of America, and now Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson has revealed that the JSA will be involved in the upcoming Black Adam movie.
While plugging his latest movie, Jumanji: The Next Level, Dwayne Johnson briefly talked about Black Adam, saying how he hasn’t tried on the character’s costume yet and that his Jumanji costar Kevin Hart lobbied to play Black Adam’s sidekick, but such a role doesn’t exist. Johnson then said the following:
We're also gonna introduce JSA in Black Adam. So in JSA maybe there's a (role)...They have an animal, a pet.
While it’s been rumored for months that Black Adam would include Justice Society members Hawkman, Stargirl and Atom Smasher (with Hawkman getting more attention of late), this is the first official confirmation that the team will have a role to play, with Dwayne Johnson providing this information to Comicbook.com. Alas, it’s fair to assume that even if this version of the JSA has a pet, Kevin Hart would not be tapped to play the dog/cat/whatever the animal is, even if it talked.
Introduced in 1940, the Justice Society of America was DC Comics’ first superhero team, with its main lineup including the Golden Age versions of characters like The Flash, Green Lantern, Hawkman, The Atom, Doctor Fate, Hourman, The Spectre and Sandman. Even Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman were part of the team, though the first two were only honorary members, and Diana of Themyscira primarily only served as their secretary.
The JSA is best known for being active during World War II, and through scientific, supernatural or other strange phenomena, some of its original members are still active in the present day. During the Silver Age of Comics, the JSA was moved to Earth-Two so that the Justice League could have Earth-One to itself, but following Crisis on Infinite Earths, DC continuity was simplified and the JSA was brought back to the main DC Earth. Following the New 52 relaunch, a different incarnation of the team was spotlighted in the Earth-2 books.
While the JSA has already been adapted for live action in Smallville and Legends of Tomorrow, as well as appeared in various animated shows, Black Adam will serve as their theatrical debut. We’ll have to wait and see who makes up the official theatrical JSA lineup, though Heroic Hollywood reports that Doctor Fate will also appear in Black Adam, as will Isis, Black Adam’s superpowered wife within the modern DC continuity.
Given the Justice Society’s ties to World War II, it’ll also be interesting to see if Black Adam is set during that conflict or if it will be a contemporary story. I’m thinking the latter is likelier since there wasn’t any indication in Shazam! that Black Adam, who wasn’t even named, had been active since ancient times. Still, it’s nice to learn that such an important team in superhero history will finally get their due on the big screen.
So far Dwayne Johnson is the only actor attached to Black Adam, but now that a release date has been set, we can expect more casting information to arrive sometime next year. Behind the scenes, Jungle Cruise’s Jaume Collet-Serra is directing the movie and Undateable’s Adam Sztykiel is writing the script.
Black Adam hits theaters on December 22, 2021, so keep checking back with CinemaBlend for more coverage. You can also find out what other DC movies are coming down the developmental pipeline with our comprehensive guide.