Skip to main content

Dwayne Johnson Is Teasing Black Adam’s Conflict With Superman, But Could It Be Another Actor Besides Henry Cavill?

Dwayne Johnson's Black Adam concept art and still of Henry Cavill's Superman
(Image credit: Warner Bros. and New Line Cinema)

Although Black Adam is best known as an adversary of Shazam (formerly known as Captain Marvel), in recent decades, he’s tangled with a handful of other superheroes semi-frequently, including Superman. The two even came to blows once outside of the comic book space in the animated short film Superman/Shazam!: The Return of Black Adam, and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson has been teasing for years that his Black Adam will fight Superman on the big screen. However, it’s possible the Man of Steel the Kahndaqian anti-hero will eventually collide with won’t be the version played by Henry Cavill.

Dwayne Johnson suggested as much while speaking with Total Film about the upcoming Black Adam movie. After noting how he and the Black Adam team paid attention to some of the “pitfalls” other DC films had dealt with in the past which left “a lot fans unhappy and pissed,” Johnson said the following:

So, let’s make sure we respect tradition and mythology, but let’s not be handcuffed creatively. We can do anything if we keep the audience first. So to me, there’s a battle that’s going to go down one day, between Black Adam and Superman. I don’t know who that Superman is going to be, and I don’t know who’s going to play him. That’s OK. I don’t need to know right now. But I’m confident in knowing that [laughs]. And that’s based out of what fans want. We worked backwards from there.

Despite Henry Cavill’s Superman having kicked off the DC Extended Universe in Man of Steel and returned in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and both versions of Justice League (as well as cameoed in Shazam!, albeit played by a different actor), there’s been no word on if we’ll see this version of the Kryptonian superhero again. Cavill is certainly game for another round as Superman, but Dwayne Johnson is ready for a scenario where it’s a different actor bringing Kal-El/Clark Kent to life. Many fans may want to see Cavill’s Superman and Johnson’s Black Adam rumble, but for Johnson, the most important thing is that his DC character fight a Superman, even if it doesn’t end up being the one many fans would like to see back in action.

To be fair, Henry Cavill is keeping quite busy these days. In addition to continuing to play Geralt of Rivia in the Netflix series The Witcher, Cavill is also attached to star in Argylle, Enola Holmes 2 and the Highlander reboot. So even if Warner Bros. decides to bring Cavill back for another round as Superman in the coming years, his schedule may out might not necessarily match up with the one Dwayne Johnson has laid out for his future Black Adam outings.

So hypothetically speaking, if Henry Cavill’s Superman is off the table, then which Superman would Dwayne Johnson’s Black Adam fight? Well, in addition to Tyler Hoechlin playing the Man of Steel in The CW series Superman & Lois, there are two other live-action versions of Superman on the way. First, producer J.J. Abrams and writer Ta-Nehisi Coates are working on a Black-led Superman movie, and second, Michael B. Jordan is executive producing an HBO Max limited series about Val-Zod, the Superman from The New 52 era’s Earth-2. It’s unclear at this point if Jordan will also play Val-Zod or a different actor will be hired for the role.

The upcoming Superman movie from J.J. Abrams and Ta-Nehisi Coates is reportedly set in another universe and potentially even being envisioned as a period piece, whereas with Michael B. Jordan’s Val-Zod series, it hasn’t been revealed if it will be set in the DCEU or also take place in another corner of the DC multiverse. Either way, given Jordan’s star power, it’s easy enough to imagine him being paired with Dwayne Johnson for a Black Adam vs. Superman event. But who knows, maybe there’s a scenario where someone is brand-new is cast to play Superman specifically for a Black Adam sequel.

In any case, once some concrete information about Black Adam vs. Superman cinematic brawl is revealed to the public, we’ll let you know. For now, the Black Adam movie is slated for July 29, 2022, and it will see Dwayne Johnson’s title character tangling with the Justice Society. Learn what else the DCEU is priming for theatrical release in our upcoming DC Comics movies guide.

Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.