Not too long ago, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson dangled a tasty little nerd tidbit in front of our collective noses by letting it slip that he was up for a role in the upcoming untitled Shazam movie. Speculation about Johnson playing a role in the DC Cinematic Universe have been going on for a while, beginning with rumors about him playing the Green Lantern John Stewart.
Early Wednesday morning, The Rock tweeted this decisive message:
— Dwayne Johnson (@TheRock) September 3, 2014
Dwayne Johnson has signed on with New Line Cinema to portray Shazam’s antithesis and arch-nemesis, Black Adam.
The news almost doesn’t come as much as a surprise as it does a relief to finally confirm our suspicions. Who else would play the magically-charged Egyptian powerhouse who can go toe-to-toe with Superman?
New Line Cinema’s president Toby Emmerich had an interview with Entertainment Weekly that adds an interesting twist to the situation, however. While keeping the high level of secrecy about the plot that always comes along with superhero movies, Emmerich gives a few leads about the feel of the movie compared to other superhero movies:
It feels to me like Shazam will have a tone unto itself. It’s a DC comic, but it’s not a Justice League character, and it’s not a Marvel comic. The tone and the feeling of the movie will be different from the other range of comic book movies.
He goes on to say that the movie “will have a sense of fun and a sense of humor. But the stakes have to be real.”
If you take the above quotes and couple them with the recent rumors that DC has implemented a strict “no joke” policy, it sounds like the Shazam movie continuity may end up being separate from the rest of the DC Cinematic Universe (Man of Steel, Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice, etc). This could potentially mean that Shazam won’t be making an appearance in the Justice League movie as previously thought.
It’s not unheard of for different properties to be kept separate. The Fantastic Four, X-Men, and Spider-Man franchises, while all Marvel-owned properties, operate outside of MCU continuity. While an interesting move for DC, is it the right move for the fans? I, for one, was looking forward to seeing Billy Batson interacting with Superman and Batman.
Either way, Emmerich promises an interesting villain for the Shazam movies.
Black Adam is a complex character. The villain in superhero movies is often, I think, what makes the movie. And I thought Dwayne’s take on the character, and the way that he saw Black Adam, was really compelling and fun.
We don’t know yet who will play the lead character Shazam in the Shazam movie, but Darren Lemke (Jack the Giant Slayer, Turbo, Goosebumps) has been hired to write the screenplay. And while we don’t have a target release date, it’s likely one of the following dates that Warner Bros. claimed for themselves early last month:
- Untitled DC Film – August 5, 2016
- Untitled DC Film – June 23, 2017
- Untitled DC Film – November 17, 2017
- Untitled DC Film – March 23, 2018
- Untitled DC Film – July 27, 2018
- Untitled WB Event Film – November 16, 2018
- Untitled DC Film – April 5, 2019
- Untitled DC Film – June 14, 2019
- Untitled DC Film – April 3, 2020
- Untitled DC Film – June 19, 2020
- Untitled WB Event Film – November 20, 2020
Shall we play ‘Release Date Roulette?’ My money is on the July 27, 2018 date.