This weekend saw the release of Shazam!, arguably the best DC movie released in a decade, and a heartwarming antidote to the grimdark Snyder take on the DC Universe – the full realization of a pivot that began with Aquaman last year. It’s so much fun, and having seen it twice now already, there’s a humanist element that comprises the major element of the script’s DNA that sets it apart from much of the superhero crop. I can’t wait to own it.
While Ed will give the Box Office rundown tomorrow that will help paint the picture of the future of this property on-screen, a lot of the discussion online has centered on what might come next for the character? Two words have been especially prevalent in this chatter: Black Adam.
The villain turned anti-hero gets a direct reference in the film, though his name is never mentioned, when the wizard is first about to give Billy Batson his new powers, with a visualization representing his role in releasing the Seven Deadly Enemies of Man. But he never shows up in the film in any other substantive way.
We know that Dwayne Johnson, who has been heavily involved in the development of the character on-screen, is still set to the play the role in a standalone Black Adam film first (a move that came after it was decided to excise the character from Shazam!) and there have been reports that a script penned by Adam Szytkiel would include Hawkman, Stargirl and Atom Smasher alongside Johnson’s Teth-Adam. Shades of “Black Reign”, perhaps.
Today, Johnson took to Instagram to give an update as well as congratulate the Shazam! team on its release this weekend:
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So, if all goes well…we might get Black Adam by 2021. It’ll be interesting to see how that might align with the timetable for a Shazam! sequel to pit these two characters against one another finally. Admittedly, there’s only so much time that Asher Angel can keep playing Billy Batson as a high schooler, if that even matters. He’s 16 now, and can probably squeeze out another 6 years before credulity starts to really get strained around the “boy in a man’s body” concept.
Anyway, Black Adam, closer on the horizon that we might think!
Entertainment Editor for The Beat covering film, television and the occasional comic book. His work can also be found at GeekRex.com and can be heard on the GeekRex podcast. He really loves the Legion of Super-Heroes a lot.