For the first time in a long time, we will have a summer with absolutely no superhero movies. As a lifelong comic book fan, I am colossally disappointed by this. No movie theaters and no new movies to watch has taken its toll on me, but I have a feeling my patience is going to pay off. The comic book movies of 2020 have been delayed to either later in the year, next year, or sometime in 2022. Despite my disappointment, the upcoming year of 2021 is as of right now, jam packed with upcoming superhero movies.
Let’s just all take a minute and assume the best: theaters will reopen and all the movies that are planned to be released will indeed release on the set dates. That’s the best case scenario and I’m confident it will happen. If it does, then movie fans will be in for one hot year. The list of upcoming superhero movies and big blockbusters is endless, but I want to talk about one of the most interesting ones. Why is it interesting? Well, for one, it’s about a anti-hero/supervillain and stars one of Hollywoods biggest stars: Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. Just in case you haven’t heard, the biggest and beefiest Hollywood star is becoming a superhero. If you’re a comic book fan, you might question Black Adam’s superhero status, but keep in mind it’s The Rock himself playing him.
Black Adam’s history in comics has ranged from supervillain to anti-hero, and that only makes his character all the more interesting. Johnson himself has stated that his take on the character will approach the more anti-heroic version of Black Adam, and that raises some questions. If Black Adam is going to be the hero in his own movie, then who will be the villain? Will it be his Shazam, his longtime nemesis? He was loosely mentioned in the movie, but their confrontation will likely be saved for a sequel. So instead of facing Shazam, Johnson has confirmed that Black Adam will be fighting The Justice Society of America. If you’re not too familiar with them, think of them as the Justice League of the thirties and forties. Unfortunately, they are criminally overshadowed by the modern Justice League in many forms.
However, their upcoming debut in the Black Adam movie can very much change that. Legions of fans were heavily disappointed by the Justice League movie, and because of that, Warner Bros. is focusing more on solo films. It makes sense, but for a Black Adam movie, the story routes are seemingly slim. As much as I’m excited to see Black Adam fight The Justice Society of America, it makes me wonder how the main protagonist can look good while fighting a team of golden age superheroes. Well, let’s think about which particular Society members Black Adam will be facing. Based on the rumors I’ve read, the Society members that will be appearing in the movie will be Atom Smasher, Stargirl, Hawkman, and possibly Doctor Fate.
If these rumors are true, then Black Adam will have his hands full. However, we need to think about how these characters will interact with the “hero” of the story. Very recently, it has been reported that Noah Centineo will be playing Atom Smasher. It’s good to hear this news, because it shows that progress on the movie is moving along, but that’s not all. In the comics, Atom Smasher is a character that can literally turn into a giant. He has had a contentious relationship with Black Adam throughout the years, but their rivalry eventually turned into a friendship. This is a very interesting dynamic, but more importantly, it speaks volumes for the route this movie might can take. Will Black Adam fight with them at first, but then become their ally in the end? It’s possible, but let’s focus on how and why they will fight.
Out of all the Justice Society members, I’m most excited about Hawkman. I’ve written before on how important he can be to the DCEU and I stand by that claim. However, a great character needs a great actor to portray him. The only question is who can take on the role? Well, for starters, we need to look at what kind of character he is. Hawkman is known for being not the most level-headed superhero and what’s worse is that his anger can overtake him at times. This has often cost him many things in his life, but underneath all that rage is a man who wants to do good. He’s a fighter and a fierce opponent of injustice and will fight tooth and nail to end it. We need the kind of actor that can deliver with serious conviction if we want a good Hawkman.
So who can do it? I have some choices in mind. I just read earlier from Cosmic Book News that a little casting list has been leaked for upcoming DC movies. One of those movies is Black Adam and it lists a candidate for the role of Hawkman. That actor is Armie Hammer. Keep in mind, Hammer has been rumored for certain DCEU roles before, including that of Hal Jordan, or Green Lantern. There just might be some truth to that, but I think it’s possible for him to play a good Hawkman as well. I remember reading from the rumor-mongering We Got This Covered site that claimed Rami Malek was being eyed for the role. I’ll just come right out and say that cannot happen. Yes, Malek is a great actor, but physically, he does not fit the role.
Here’s the thing about casting Hawkman: if he’s going to go up against Dwayne Johnson, he can’t be played by the 5’9″ Rami Malek. Seriously, Dwayne Johnson is about 6’5″ and he’s pretty much all muscle. Do you really think an actor of Malek’s size would look like a challenge to Johnson’s Black Adam? Yeah… no.
This is why casting Hawkman is vital and also very challenging. Now I’m not sure how legitimate this casting leak is, but Hammer is a logical choice. Hammer is talented and more importantly, he’s 6’5″, the same height as Johnson. He normally doesn’t play tough guys, but when he does play one, he is a convincing one. He can bulk up and stand up to Johnson’s Black Adam, which is something we really need to see. We need a big guy to go toe-to-toe with Johnson’s Black Adam and a man of Hammer’s physical stature can deliver that confrontation.
On the other hand, Hawkman doesn’t have to be the same height as Johnson’s Black Adam. Let’s face it, Johnson is a mountain of muscle and very few actors can match his physicality. That being said, whoever plays Hawkman must be at least very tall and muscular. And yes, he must also be a darn good actor. Another actor I have in mind is the criminally underrated Karl Urban.
He’s 6’1″ and can play a very convincing tough guy. From Lord of the Rings, to Dredd, to The Boys, Urban has certainly proved himself capable of playing the tough guy roles. He may not be as big as Hammer or Johnson, but that doesn’t mean he can’t be intimidating. Since he’s smaller than Johnson, his Hawkman will struggle more, but the thing about Hawkman is that he’s fearless. He’s a warrior, albeit a reckless one, but he never runs from a fight. This is what makes Hawkman the kind of character he is and it’s the kind of qualities Urban can deliver. After watching the underrated Dredd, I find it impossible to not cast him as Hawkman.
What other actors can play an amazing Hawkman? Would you prefer Armie Hammer or Karl Urban? Above all else, I just want them to get this character right.