It’s ironic that despite Black Adam being one of Shazam’s greatest adversaries, there haven’t been any concrete plans for these two to come together in the DC Extended Universe. There had been a time when Dwayne Johnson’s Black Adam was supposed to be the Shazam! movie’s main antagonist, but it was eventually decided he should lead his own movie first, and that came out in October. Shortly after Black Adam’s release though, it was reported that Johnson isn’t a Shazam fan, and now another news item has popped up fueling his alleged dislike of the World’s Mightiest Mortal, who’s returning soon in Shazam! Fury of the Gods.
For context, the newly-created DC Studios is being run by James Gunn and Peter Safran, the latter of whom produced 2019’s Shazam!. It had previously been said that Dwayne Johnson had “thinly veiled disdain” for Shazam, meaning that “he probably isn't loving the idea that his boss is now the guy that produces” this particular DC film series. Cut to today, The Wrap reported Umberto Gonzalez shared on Twitter that Johnson turned down cameoing in Shazam! Fury of the Gods when asked. This information should in no way be considered official, but it’s accurate, then this is further proof that Johnson doesn’t want anything to do with Shazam.
Although the Black Adam movie showed the title hero saying the world “Shazam!” to transform, and Djimon Hounsou’s Shazam was seen bestowing powers upon Teth-Adam with the other members of the Council of Wizards, that’s where the ties end between Adam and the modern Shazam, a.k.a. Billy Batson, who’s played by Asher Angel in his younger civilian form, and by Zachary Levi in his superhero form. Instead, Black Adam initially faced off against Justice Society members Hawkman, Doctor Fate, Cyclone and Atom Smasher in his theatrical debut, and then they teamed up to battle Sabbac. Conversely, Black Adam was teased in the Shazam! movie as the wizard Shazam’s prior champion to freed the Seven Deadly Sins thousands of years ago, although that story doesn’t line up with what we saw unfold in the Black Adam movie.
Dwayne Johnson previously admitted that he pushed for Black Adam to get his own movie because he felt it would be a “disservice” for that character’s origin story to be told alongside Shazam’s. That makes sense to a degree considering how Black Adam’s profile has increased over the last few decades thanks to his shift from straightforward supervillain to antihero, but it’s also become clear over the years that Shazam is not the caped superhero Johnson wants Black Adam to fight. That slot instead belongs to Superman, and Henry Cavill even cameoed as the Man of Steel in Black Adam’s end-credits scene. Unfortunately, with further Cavill Superman appearances being scrapped and James Gunn now writing a Superman reboot, that showdown will never happen.
As far as Dwayne Johnson’s overall Black Adam future goes, while there are plans to make a sequel, supposedly that’s now considered “unlikely” given this first movie’s box office performance. Meanwhile, Shazam! Fury of the Gods will follow the Shazam Family tangling with Hespera, Kalypso and Anthea, the daughters of Atlas, one of the mythology figures from whom the heroes draw their powers. The sequel comes out on March 17, 2023, but with all the shakeups with upcoming DC movies that have been happening (including Wonder Woman 3 not happening anymore), who knows if we’ll get Shazam! 3?
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Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore, Adam is a Senior Content Producer at CinemaBlend. He started working for the site back in late 2014 writing exclusively comic book movie and TV-related articles, and along with branching out into other genres, he also made the jump to editing. Along with his writing and editing duties, as well as interviewing creative talent from time to time, he also oversees the assignment of movie-related features. He graduated from the University of Oregon with a degree in Journalism, and he’s been sourced numerous times on Wikipedia. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.