While it's still mostly unclear whether the DC Universe is an active concern on the big screen or not, films based on DC Comics characters are certainly still popular and we have several new projects on the way that have fans excited. However, whatever happens with Wonder Woman or the Suicide Squad in their upcoming sequels, Dwayne Johnson has already put the DC Universe on notice that Black Adam is coming, and he's looking to take his place at the most powerful. However, one man is willing to stand in his way, it's Shazam!...'s director.
The director of both Shazam! and the upcoming sequel, David F. Sandberg, posted an image of himself as a counter argument to an Instagram pic recently posted by Dwayne Johnson, that showed the actor in full training mode for Black Adam. The Rock looked even bigger and more muscular than usual. He also claimed that the "hierarchy of power" within the DC Universe was about to change. Sandberg's response was, maybe slightly less menacing, but honestly pretty on brand for himself, and the Shazam! movies.
While Shazam! was a film that clearly took place within the existing DC film universe, the movie took a decidedly lighter tone with the material. It's perhaps difficult to make a "dark and gritty" film about a kid who magically transforms into a grown up superhero, so that decision made sense. And Shazam! didn't lack for more superhero action either. Overall, the idea certainly seemed to work as Shazam! put up some solid box office numbers. A sequel Shazam!: Fury of the Gods has also been announced.
Of course, the fact that Shazam! had a bit more humor than your average DC movie does create some interesting questions about Black Adam. Dwayne Johnson's character has been traditionally seen as a arch enemy of Shazam, and the expectation is that the two will come up against each other somewhere down the line, perhaps in the Shazam! sequel, perhaps in a movie following that one. Does that mean Black Adam will strike a similar tone? We haven't seen much indication of that. Of course, The Rock is perfectly good at being funny when there's a requirement for that.
Still, this guy doesn't look like he's planning to be very funny. Here's the original image that spawned David F. Sandberg's response.
Black Adam is getting ready to start production early next year. The film was originally set to open in December of next year but due to the massive production delay that certainly won't happen. A release in early 2022 seems likely at this point, assuming that we don't see any more significant delays of course. When Shazam and Black Adam will finally clash, we'll just have to wait to find out.