Black Adam release date: Latest news on Dwayne Johnson's DC Comics movie
Black Adam is headed to the DCEU... and he's bringing some friends.
After multiple delays, Dwayne Johnson’s hotly-anticipated DC entry in Black Adam is almost upon us, and now we have the first reactions to the movie to prove it - and they’re overwhelmingly positive.
Johnson stars as the title role in the upcoming film, portraying one of DC's most popular antiheroes from the comic books - a man with god-like powers who's awoken in modern times, and is frequently depicted as an enemy of Shazam! (Zachary Levi).
The former WWE legend has long promised that Black Adam will change the DC hierarchy and early reviews seem to be proving him right, with critics calling the movie "epic on every level" and a "game-changer".
Many critics also praised Pierce Brosnan’s performance as sorcerer Doctor Fate.
Alongside Johnson and Brosnan, the cast is rounded out by Aldis Hodge as Hawkman, Noah Centineo as Atom Smasher, Sarah Shahi as Adriana and Quintessa Swindell as Cyclone.
The first Black Adam trailer was released earlier this year at San Diego Comic-Con 2022, giving DC fans their first proper look at the gang in action.
Fans had been wondering just how villainous Johnson’s character would be in his DC entry and, speaking at the panel, director Jaume Collet-Serra shared some more details.
"This seemed like a Dirty Harry-type of character," he explained, adding: "When the system is broken and when the system is corrupt, you need someone to break the system down. I gravitated towards that."
Of course, certain plot details are being kept under wraps, but we've gathered a decent amount of information, including a confirmed release date. Read on for everything you need to know.
Black Adam release date
Black Adam is now scheduled to hit cinemas on 21st October 2022.
The movie has been delayed multiple times and was originally scheduled for release on 22nd December 2021 but this date was, unsurprisingly, pushed back due to complications caused by the pandemic.
Further complications then saw the film scheduled to arrive in cinemas on 29th July 2022 before Warner Bros pushed the release back once again, this time to October 2022.
During an interview with The Wrap, producer Hiram Garcia attributed the latest Black Adam release date delay to the VFX pipeline.
"Obviously all these superhero movies just require so much VFX, and we’re just in a situation where the majority of the VFX houses are just completely swamped with work. I think that’s why you saw seismic shifts across the board, and you continue to see those giant properties just moving further down the line," Garcia explained. "And it’s just a matter of the vendors being able to accommodate the amount of VFX they have to do, the shots that have to be done."
Filming began in April 2021, with Johnson marking the occasion by sharing the movie's rather snazzy clapperboard on social media, with the shoot wrapping up midway though July.
Johnson has confirmed on Twitter that the movie has wrapped filming - and it sounds like it was quite the shoot! "That's a wrap on BLACK ADAM. Incredible journey. Hardest undertaking of my entire career physically & mentally. Worth every second. Boundless gratitude to my 1,000+ crew members, actors and director, Jaume Collet-Serra. The hierarchy of power in DC Universe is changing."
"This has been one for the ages and easily the hardest labor and toughest grind mentally and physically of my entire career. Worth. Every. Second. Love you all. Thank you all."
Black Adam cast
Dwayne Johnson is set to take on the lead role, after the former WWE star had been circling the characters of Black Adam and Shazam for many years, ultimately settling on the former due to his unpredictably rebellious nature.
Noah Centineo has also been confirmed as Atom Smasher, a DC Comics superhero capable of manipulating his size and strength, growing up to 60 feet tall at will.
Variety confirmed Aldis Hodge (The Invisible Man) will star as Hawkman in the upcoming blockbuster, a character who recently appeared in DC's Legends of Tomorrow where he was accompanied by close ally Hawkgirl.
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He is often depicted as a human archeologist, Carter Hall – or alien counterpart, Katar Hol – donning large (artificial) wings which allow him to soar through the air with great force.
Quintessa Swindell (Trinkets) has been cast in the movie as well, taking on the role of wind manipulating superhero Cyclone, with Aladdin and The Old Guard star Marwan Kenzari also signing up in an as-yet-unspecified role.
In March 2021, The Hollywood Reporter confirmed that magical hero Doctor Fate will be played by Pierce Brosnan, with the former James Bond taking on the first superhero role of his career.
Doctor Fate first appeared in DC comics in 1940 as the son of an archaeologist who was bestowed sorcery skills by the magical Helmet of Fate, and was a founding member of the Justice Society.
Sex/Life star Sarah Shahi will also appear in Black Adam, with Deadline reporting that she will play "a university professor and freedom fighter leading the resistance in Kahndaq", who goes by the name Adrianna.
In a recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Shahi revealed that she didn't know what movie she was auditioning for when she initially sent in her tape, as well as opening up on why her casting means so much to her.
“I’m Middle Eastern; I’m Persian. And there’s not a lot of Middle Eastern representation out there," she said. "There are other Middle Eastern actors that I know who are either getting cast in terrorist roles or they’re really being stereotyped by how they look. So I’m hoping that, on some level, Black Adam will help break open that stereotype.”
The movie also made some mystery cast additions at the start of filming, with stage star James Cusati-Moyer and Legends of Tomorrow's Bodhi Sabongui joining the production in undisclosed roles (via Deadline and THR).
Meanwhile, Uli Latukefu who is known for playing none other than Dwayne Johnson himself in the sitcom Young Rock has also joined the cast in an unspecified role.
There has been much speculation over which existing DC heroes could appear in Black Adam, with Shazam and Superman among the most heavily rumoured.
Black Adam trailer
As detailed above, a dazzling trailer for DC's upcoming movie dropped during Super Bowl weekend and gave fans a first look at Black Adam and Doctor Fate – as well as a glimpse at the hero's backstory.
The clip, which serves as a teaser for all of DC's 2022 movies, shows Adam looking up at a couple of approaching helicopters as a voiceover states: "My son dreamed of a better world... That’s why he saved me."
The trailer also shows co-star Pierce Brosnan in character as the mystical Doctor Fate. Staring off into the distance, he tells Black Adam: "Come with us, there's a glorious world out there, waiting for you." Watch below:
As detailed above, another Black Adam trailer then landed in June 2022, giving DC fans their first proper look at Johnson's incarnation of the popular antihero. Watch here now.
We also have a photo of the script courtesy of Dwayne Johnson's Instagram account – so that's something at least!
On top of that, we got new photos from the set via Dwane Johnson's Instagram page - and it seems that the scale of it will be quite something. Head over to his account to see more photos from the production of the movie.
Who is Black Adam? Comic book origin explained
Black Adam is the long-awaited solo movie for one of DC's most popular antiheroes.
His origin, as told in Jerry Ordway's 1994 story The Power of Shazam!, reveals Black Adam was born thousands of years ago in the fictional Middle Eastern country of Kahndaq.
Born "Teth-Adam", son of the ancient Egyptian Pharaoh Ramesses II, he was rewarded with incredible powers bestowed on him by the high priest and wizard, Shazam.
However, when Black Adam is corrupted by the demon Blaze, who brings out a power-hungry side to his personality, Shazam punishes him by stripping him of his powers and sealing them in a scarab.
The character was later resurrected in the present day, initially to serve as a fearsome arch-enemy to Billy Batson (played by Zachary Levi in 2019's Shazam!), but gradually taking on more antihero qualities as he develops.
Expect the Black Adam movie to explore this origin story, but that's not all; in a major addition to the DC Extended Universe, the upcoming blockbuster will also introduce the Justice Society of America.
The superhero team actually predates the Justice League, but aren't quite as well known due to their location in a parallel universe known simply as Earth-2.
Speaking to Collider, producer Hiram Garcia said: "We are so excited to introduce the Justice Society, especially Hawkman who’s such a beloved character and one of those heroes who’s always meant so much to the DC universe.
"When you take a powerhouse like Black Adam and inject him into this DC cinematic universe you want to make sure you are putting characters around him that can really up the stakes.
"As DJ likes to say, the hierarchy of power in the DC universe really is going to change, so Hawkman, Dr. Fate, Atom Smasher and Cyclone will have their hands full no matter how we choose to have them interact with Black Adam.”
Is Black Adam a sequel to Shazam?
Not exactly. Given their comic book history, it stands to reason that the Black Adam and Shazam movie franchises will be relatively closely connected, but Johnson's offering is not a direct sequel to the 2019 movie.
That said, rumour has it that the two DC powerhouses could finally come face-to-face in 2023's Shazam 2: Fury of the Gods, with director David F Sandberg fuelling speculation with a recent photo from the set.
It shows a lightning bolt against a black background that looks suspiciously similar to Black Adam's trademark logo, although it's worth noting that Shazam! wears a very similar emblem.
Previously, Zachary Levi had said at CCXP Cologne Convention 2019: "I can say that as far as I know, Black Adam is not going to be in the second Shazam!, because the idea is that they want to go and do a standalone Black Adam movie first."
"And then it would kind of be, if we do a third Shazam! and a second Black Adam... that's where we would [meet]. Because he's like the ultimate bad guy for Captain Marvel / Shazam."
However, that was a long time ago and it's quite possible that plans for the two characters to interact have been moved forward.