While it has been known for a while now that Dwayne Johnson was going to be bringing his electric talents and people’s elbow into the DC fold for a Shazam adaptation, it has been unclear which character in that film he will portray. Well, that question has now definitively been answered. Johnson confirmed today on his twitter that he will be stepping into the role of Black Adam, the film’s primary antagonist. While we do not yet know who will be playing the titular hero, who can transform himself into a hero with the powers of 6 greek gods by saying the work Shazam, it was also confirmed today that Goosebumps and Turbo writer Darren Lemke will be penning the screenplay.
This is a massive pawn in favor of DC in more ways than one. Firstly, a character with such an extravagant name, and set of powers could set a precedent for DC movies that perhaps don’t take themselves so damn seriously (especially considering the writer). Black Adam essentially has similar powers to his arch nemesis, but they stem from Egyptian gods, and he’s actually not a straight bad guy, he’s an anti-hero of sorts out to clear his name. With that in mind, we’re essentially going to be watching two meat headed mirror images of each other duke it out with godly powers, sounds like a wrestling match. Hmmm…this casting is starting to make sense now huh? If there’s anyone who can sell this type of stuff, it’s Johnson, who has proven to be a more than capable actor in these campy genre movies, along with an obviously imposing physical presence. It’s also definitely fun to see him step into a villain role, something that to my knowledge he hasn’t really attempted before, although for my money, they’re going to have to cast someone extremely likable to make me root against him.
Shazam does not have an official release date yet, but I would expect it to be one of the first films of DC’s upcoming slate.