Dwayne Johnson believes that his upcoming Black Adam movie should start filming in 2019. Johnson initially signed on to play the DC Comics supervillain-turned-anti-hero as part of Warner Bros.’ unofficially titled DC Extended Universe (DCEU) in 2014, but things have been slow going ever since. Up until last year, it was believed that Johnson would play the antagonist in David F. Sandberg’s Shazam! film, which is slated to release in 2019. But that didn’t turn out to be the case.
Kingsman and Sherlock Holmes actor Mark Strong is actually playing Shazam!‘s titular villain, Doctor Sivana. And instead of appearing in next year’s DCEU installment, Johnson will first appear in a solo Black Adam movie before eventually facing off against the superhero Shazam, played by Zachary Levi. At the moment, the Black Adam movie is without a director, but it recently received a script from Rampage scribe Adam Sztykiel. And it seems that the powers that be behind the project are happy with what Sztykiel delivered, for they are now looking to enter production sometime next year.
In an interview with Yahoo Movies for his latest film, Rampage, Dwayne Johnson briefly discussed Warner Bros.’ production plans for DC’s Black Adam movie, saying that the film should start rolling cameras in 2019 if everything goes according to plan. He said: “The script came in, it’s great, we’re working on it. If things come together in the way we anticipate them coming together, that feels like a 2019 movie, in production.” Johnson also discussed his and DC Films’ hopes for the movie and properly serving the source material:
“Marvel is doing such an incredible job of universe building and building out … and DC is doing a great job finding the footing and tone of their movies, certainly with like Wonder Woman, for example. I look forward to James Wan’s movie that’s coming out, with Aquaman. So, Black Adam is this phenomenal opportunity for us to nail the tone, make sure that he’s badass, make sure that we’re serving the mythology properly, but then, also make sure that we can have intrinsic DNA tied to a lot of other properties in DC. So, it’s not an easy thing to do, but I think we’re going to nail it.”
Although DC’s Black Adam movie seems to be progressing smoothly behind the scenes with cameras expected to roll in 2019, that doesn’t mean comic book fans will have to wait until 2020 (or whenever the movie releases) in order to see Dwayne Johnson’s introduction as Teth-Adam in the DCEU. Last year, Johnson said that he had been discussing with DC Films co-chief Geoff Johns about when and where to introduce Black Adam, and the actor said that they have “a really cool surprise” regarding the character’s introduction.
The most likely option is that Black Adam will show up in Shazam!, but that won’t necessarily be a surprise. Comic book fans would expect Johnson to appear in that film, especially since he’s signed on as an executive producer. But what may surprise general audiences is a potential appearance in Gavin O’Connor’s Suicide Squad 2. Black Adam has appeared in the Suicide Squad comics before, and it’s been reported that Task Force X could be seen hunting down Teth-Adam in the upcoming sequel film. That would certainly qualify as a surprise introduction, at least for non-comic book fans. But we’ll just have to wait and see what happens on that end. For now, DC’s Black Adam movie seems to be targeting a 2019 filming start date.
KEY RELEASE DATES
Aquaman release date: Dec 21, 2018
Shazam! release date: Apr 5, 2019
Wonder Woman 2 release date: Nov 1, 2019