Maybe Dwayne Johnson really is the antidote to every franchise.
The Wrap reports that Dwayne Johnson may make his first DCEU appearance in Suicide Squad 2. Johnson’s character, Black Adam, could be introduced in the supervillain team-up sequel that’s slated to begin production in the middle of 2018.
Johnson was cast as Black Adam over three years ago. He was initially slated to appear in the standalone Shazam! film as more of an anti-hero than an outright villain. However, it was announced in July 2017 that Black Adam would not, in fact, appear in Shazam!. Johnson will instead star in a Black Adam solo movie before meeting Zachary Levi’s Shazam in a separate film.
This leaves room for the “really cool surprise” of Black Adam’s intro into the DCEU that Johnson hinted at in May this year. According to The Wrap, Black Adam may feature in Suicide Squad 2 as a “weapon of mass destruction” that the members of the Suicide Squad are tasked to track down. The role apparently wouldn’t be big enough to disrupt Johnson’s busy shooting schedule on other projects like HBO’s Ballers, Disney’s Jungle Cruise, and the Fast and Furious spin-off he has with Jason Statham.
Even in glorified cameo form, Black Adam’s appearance in Suicide Squad 2 would certainly boost interest in that particular film as a whole. Considering that the first Suicide Squad was so poorly received, the sequel needs all the help it can get. Suicide Squad fundamentally failed critics and audiences despite a huge marketing campaign, including massive hype surrounding the film’s cast and the promise of classic villains reimagined in a fresh way.
Instead, the film turned out to be a mess, to say the least. “Suicide Squad isn’t a middling effort ruined by a conflict of visions and a lack of authorship. It’s terrible,” Neil Miller wrote in his revised review of Suicide Squad last year. Bits and pieces of a proper narrative could be deciphered in the film’s final form, but it made for a more infuriating experience than anything else.
We can only hope that Warner Bros. has learned from those mistakes. Of course, there is a distinct possibility that a potential Black Adam role in Suicide Squad 2 could simply be an attempt to keep a sprawling universe more closely knit, which could lead to its own problems. But at least now there might be something for fans of the character and of the People’s Champion to look forward to in that movie.
Furthermore, Johnson has been attached to the role of Black Adam for way too long with an indeterminate start date on his solo debut. Johnson is a bona fide movie star and could make a big impression at the box office regardless of a tiny role in Suicide Squad 2. Black Adam doesn’t need to be shoehorned into another superhero (or in this case, supervillain) film for the character to work, because he has an existing fanbase. But it might be time to actually see him in action, in whatever form that takes.