Joker Cinematographer Compares It To DC’s Black Adam

Joker in teh bathroom

It's no secret that comic book movies are everywhere. The superhero genre has become a dominating force in the film industry over the last decade, with plenty of studios beginning their own cinematic universe. As such, certain filmmakers and actors have worked on multiple superhero projects. Cinematographer Lawrence Sher is one of these artists, who will work on Black Adam when it goes into production following his Oscar-nominated work on Todd Phillips' Joker. In fact, he recently compared the two comic book adaptations.

Black Adam is a project that has been in development for a long time. But it looks like things are finally moving forward, with Dwayne Johnson revealing the movie is set to film this summer. This will mark Lawrence Sher's second comic book movie-- both of which focus on villains. Sher spoke to the two movies' differences, saying:

The good news is we don’t shoot until July. So I’m just getting into the research and development phase of discovering how it will look. It’s super important to me because every time I set off to make a movie or a new project, I always feel as if I want it to be better than the last thing I worked on. I’m really excited about Black Adam because it’s different than Joker in that it’s slightly more traditional insomuch as it’s really drawing from the comics.

This sounds about right. While Todd Phillips crafted an original story for Joker, it looks like Black Adam will be a bit more comic book accurate. Given the villain's superpowers and connection with Shazam!, this makes a great deal of sense.

Lawrence Sher's comments to Observer show how differently the two DC adaptations are being approached. While Todd Phillips' Joker did include the titular villain and Waynes, it was a grueling psychological drama. The stakes and drama was realistic, and there wasn't a superhero or cape to be found.

Black Adam in the comics

On the flip side is Black Adam, which is playing with much more traditional comic book concepts. The title character is an iconic DC supervillain, with powers including strength, flight, magical lightning and thunder, and invulnerability. He's basically the dark version of Shazam, and has enough strength to go toe to toe with Superman himself. Good thing Dwayne Johnson has been getting extra ripped for the role.

Dwayne Johnson has been attached to play Black Adam for a number of years, since before the DCEU pivoted after Justice League's failure. Zachary Levi's Shazam got his own origin story last year, and now his nemesis will get the same treatment. As such, Black Adam will be more heightened and comic book accurate than Joker.

Lawrence Sher was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Cinematography this year for his work on Joker, which is the movie with the highest amount of nominations. So he might be working on Black Adam with an Oscar in hand.

Black Adam is currently expected to arrive in theaters in December of 2021, after filming this summer. In the meantime, check out our 2020 release list to plan your next trip to the movies.

Corey Chichizola
Movies Editor

Corey was born and raised in New Jersey. Graduated with degrees theater and literature from Ramapo College of New Jersey. After working in administrative theater for a year in New York, he started as the Weekend Editor at CinemaBlend. He's since been able to work himself up to reviews, phoners, and press junkets-- and is now able to appear on camera with some of his favorite actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid. He's particularly proud of covering horror franchises like Scream and Halloween, as well as movie musicals like West Side Story. Favorite interviews include Steven Spielberg, Spike Lee, Jamie Lee Curtis, and more.