Larger-than-life movie star Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson seems ready-made to play a superhero – and now after a decade of circling the character, he finally will in Black Adam.
Filming has now begun on the Shazam! spin-off, which stars Johnson as the titular corrupted antihero with powers rivalling that of Superman.
However, Johnson won’t be alone – he’ll be joined by All The Boys star Noah Centineo, Trinkets’ Quintessa Swindell and James Bond himself Pierce Brosnan as members of the Justice Society, the precursor to the Justice League and the first-ever comic book superhero team.
The DC Extended Universe is now set to get a whole lot bigger – here’s everything we know about Black Adam, including a confirmed release date.
When is Black Adam released in cinemas?
Black Adam was originally scheduled for release on 22nd December 2021, but this date was, unsurprisingly, moved due to the pandemic.
The film is now set to arrive in cinemas on 29th July 2022, with that release date having been revealed by Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson via an Instagram post in March 2021.
Filming began in April 2021, with Johnson marking the occasion by sharing the movie’s rather snazzy clapperboard on social media.
Black Adam cast
Aside from Dwayne Johnson in the lead role, things were quiet on the casting front for some time but now with filming gearing up to start we are getting more information on who will be joining him. 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. Hawkman appeared in the DC universe in 1940, but until now, hasn’t ever appeared in any films – until Black Adam. The character has appeared on screen in recent years though in the debut season of Legends of Tomorrow where he was joined by Hawkgirl.
He usually appears with large (artificial) wings which allows him to soar. He is often depicted as a human archeologist, Carter Hall – or alien counterpart, Katar Hol.
Quintessa Swindell (Trinkets) has also been cast in the movie, taking on the role of wind manipulating superhero Cyclone, with Aladdin and The Old Guard star Marwan Kenzari also signing up for an as-yet-unspecified role.
It now seems that the Justice Society of America is complete, with The Hollywood Reporter also confirming that magical hero Doctor Fate will be played by none other than Pierce Brosnan himself, 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.
The movie also made some mystery cast additions at the start of filming – with stage star James Cusati-Moyer and Legend of Tomorrow‘s Bodhi Sabongui joining the production in undisclosed roles (via Deadline and THR).
There has been much speculation over which existing DC heroes could appear in Black Adam, with Shazam and Superman among the most heavily rumoured.
Is there a Black Adam trailer?
Not just yet. As filming began in April 2021, we could perhaps expect a teaser trailer by the end of the year. What we do have though is a photo of the script courtesy of Dwayne Johnson’s Instagram account – so that’s something at least!
Expect more behind the scenes goodness now shooting has started – Johnson is known for being generous about his projects on social media, and has already shared the impressive shape he got into for the role:
What is Black Adam about?
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.
However, Black Adam will not serve as a direct sequel to 2019’s Shazam! movie, and it seems that Dwayne Johnson’s antihero won’t be crossing paths with his scarlet-clad nemesis for some time.
Zachary Levi said at CCXP Cologne Convention last summer: “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.”