After a simply silly amount of time spent teasing fans with vague comments, action star Dwayne Johnson finally copped to the long-standing rumor that he’d be involved in a DC Comics film for New Line/Warner Bros. Would he be playing John Stewart, Green Lantern? Nope. Aquaman? Nay. Cyborg? Uh-uh. If you picture Johnson cocking on eyebrow like his old WWF persona The Rock, it’s not a stretch at all to picture him in a jet black costume with a yellow lightning bolt and a forehead as high as his sense of self.
That’s right, Johnson will be tackling the role of Black Adam in an upcoming theatrical release of Shazam! The actor took to Twitter earlier this month to not only confirm the casting but to label Black Adam an anti-hero rather than a supervillain. New Line president Toby Emmerich told Entertainment Weekly at the start of September that “Black Adam is a complex character. The villain in superhero movies is often, I think, what makes the movie. And I thought Dwayne’s take on the character, and the way that he saw Black Adam, was really compelling and fun.”
Sounds like we should be prepared for a rollicking, forced perspective look at the magical adversaries, much like John Gardner’s 1971 novel Grendel – an incredible retelling of the Beowulf epic poem but from the point of view of the monster. (If you haven’t read it, go devour it NOW – we’ll wait.). Now that’s not to say that young Billy Batson will end up looking like the bad guy by the end of the movie, but it’s reasonable to expect that Black Adam’s motivations will be presented in such a way that he’ll remain highly relatable and someone with the potential to shift allegiances as may best befit his needs. When you think about it, that (coupled with the aforementioned eyebrow action) sort of makes him DC’s answer to Namor.