Is it possible that Dwayne Johnson loathes Shazam? It’s no secret that the actor originally signed on to star in the first Shazam! movie as the reported villain Black Adam; however, Johnson was able to convince the studio to make a Black Adam solo feature since the DC anti-hero has such a rich mythology in the comics:
“When the first draft of the movie came to us, it was a combination of Black Adam and Shazam: Two origin stories in one movie,” Johnson said in his Vanity Fair interview. “Now that was the goal – so it wasn’t a complete surprise. But when I read that, I just knew in my gut, ‘We can’t make this movie like this. We would be doing Black Adam an incredible disservice.’ It would’ve been fine for Shazam to have two origin stories converge in one movie, but no good for Black Adam.”
Johnson continued, “I made a phone call. I said, ‘I have to share my thoughts here. It’s very unpopular…’ because everybody thought, ‘Hey, this script is great, let’s go make this movie.’ I said, ‘I really think that you should make ‘Shazam!” make that movie on its own in the tone that you want. And I think we should separate this as well.”
Truthfully, a Black Adam vs. Shazam film would’ve been great! Shazam is more of an immature and goofy kid whose given superhero powers, whereas Black Adam is an angry and murderous thunder god without any remorse. The clash of personalities would’ve made their characters shine better, and it would’ve been cool to see these fight. As it stands, Black Adam (just the live-action version) doesn’t stand out too much as a superhero, as the film is a been-there-and-done that origin story that didn’t truly allow the anti-hero to shine as a character worthy of a solo film. It didn’t help that drastic changes could’ve made Black Adam stand out as unique, but it ultimately comes down to the script, and it falters more often than not.
However, one of the most notable things about Black Adam is that the film goes out of its way to ignore Shazam completely. Black Adam even says the word “Shazam”, and there’s never an easter egg or a wink to the audience, indicating that Shazam even exists in this universe. It’s an odd choice given that these two were born from the same mythology, but it appears that it might be due to the fact that Johnson himself might not be a fan of the character. This is all coming from a report by The Wrap, which alleges that the actor has a disdain for Shazam, “Safran needs to win over all the other filmmakers… and Dwayne Johnson’s thinly veiled disdain for Shazam means he probably isn’t loving the idea that his boss is now the guy that produces ‘Shazam.’ Safran is pretty diplomatic, so I think he will pull it off, but it won’t be easy.”
Now, Johnson has never publicly stated that he hated Shazam. In fact, Johnson’s company, Seven Bucks Productions, is credited as a producer for the superhero film. Though there are no traces of Shazam in Black Adam, Johnson did say the was actually building a crossover between the two characters. In an interview with ComicBook.com, Johnson stated that he wanted to respect the origin story of both Shazam and Black Adam, and then the crossover film will happen. To completely ignore Shazam in Black Adam was an odd choice, but Johnson’s rationale for saving the big fight makes sense overall. Black Adam won’t be in the Fury of the Gods, but perhaps more easter eggs in the Shazam! The sequel will indicate that the two will finally clash in the third feature.
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