Dwayne Johnson Called the Studio to Remove Black Adam From ‘Shazam!’: It’d Be a ‘Disservice’ to the Character

Dwayne Johnson’s DC passion project “Black Adam” will finally open in theaters this October, but the character could’ve debuted in 2019’s “Shazam!” had Warner Bros. went ahead with its original plan. The “Shazam!” movie went into development in 2014 with a script that included origin stories for both the title character and Black Adam. The duo have a shared history in the comics, so it seemed fitting to launch their big screen iterations together in one film. Johnson disagreed.

“When the first draft of the movie came to us, it was a combination of Black Adam and Shazam: Two origin stories in one movie,” Johnson recently told Vanity Fair. “Now that was the goal — so it wasn’t a complete surprise. But when I read that, I just knew in my gut, ‘We can’t make this movie like this. We would be doing Black Adam an incredible disservice.’ It would’ve been fine for Shazam having two origin stories converge in one movie, but not good for Black Adam.”

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Johnson continued, “I made a phone call. I said, ‘I have to share my thoughts here. It’s very unpopular…’ because everybody thought, ‘Hey, this script is great, let’s go make this movie.’ I said, ‘I really think that you should make ‘Shazam!,’ make that movie on its own in the tone that you want. And I think we should separate this as well.’”

Warner Bros. ultimately agreed, and now Johnson is headlining the standalone “Black Adam” tentpole this fall. Johnson has repeatedly promised moviegoers that his “Black Adam” movie will forever change the DC universe on the big screen. Joining the actor in the film are Aldis Hodge, Noah Centineo, Sarah Shahi, Marwan Kenzari and Pierce Brosnan.

“Black Adam” opens in theaters on October 21.

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