After months of speculation and giddy, delightful wishes and hopeful tweets from the man himself, Dwayne Johnson has officially revealed his role in the DC Movie Universe via Twitter. (and reported on by Variety). While it’s been known for some time that he would play some part in that evolving franchise, it took time to pinpoint exactly where he would land. He wasn’t to be a villain in Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice, he wasn’t to be their Aquaman and he vehemently denied he would be Green Lantern. Instead, he is indeed in a standalone Shazam movie, as he has consistently teased on social media and practically confirmed back in July — but at the time he didn’t divulge whether he would play the title superhero or the villain, Black Adam.
You can’t blame the man. Johnson’s a guy of simple tastes. He loves pro wrestling, lifting at the gym, being one of the nicest guys in Hollywood and reading the “Shazam” comic books. So the likelihood that he would play one of the lead roles in Shazam has been big news for his Twitter feed. And today is no different, as he went online to Tweet that we should all “kneel at his feet or get crushed by his boot.”
Black Adam was a straight villain for much of the run of the comics, as an archaeologist with questionable motives who can transform into an ancient Egyptian entity with vast and impressive superhuman abilities. During that phase of the comics he was the enemy of Shazam (aka Captain Marvel), but later Black Adam fought alongside the good guys. And as indicated in Johnson’s tweet, the film, which is being scripted by Darren Lemke (Jack the Giant Slayer), is likely going to focus on this incarnation, the character that Johnson has dubbed the anti-hero. Or, rather, #TheAntiHero if we’re being technical.
At this point, is there really anyone else who could ever step into this role? Besides Johnson’s obvious admiration for the character and boundless joy for playing him, he’s perfect for the part. A villainous, mischievous foe who’s not quite enemy, not quite ally, Black Adam is a part in which Johnson gets to explore his acting chops above and beyond being a muscle or being a sidekick. He’s front and center as a definitive part of the DC Universe, and he might be kicking Shazam’s ass — or saving it.
Another thing to consider: Shazam is a regular visitor to the “Justice League of America” comics. This may mean that Shazam and Black Adam could be tagging along when the eventual Justice League movie rolls into theaters, sometime after Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice. Johnson has landed himself a stable, steady gig in superherodom.
So far, there is no known release date for Shazam.