Does Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson have a surprise in store for fans when it comes to his upcoming role in the DCEU? Currently, he’s supposedly going to play the role of the villain Black Adam in an upcoming DC film. But some have speculated that the reason the Black Adamfilm is now going to go into production before the Shazam film is that The Rock will be playing the role of both the hero and the villain.
The Rock Is Ever Versatile
This might sound a bit strange, given that Black Adam and Shazam – formerly known as Captain Marvel before the big legalistic showdown between Marvel Comics and DC Comics over copyright issues – are usually mortal enemies in the comics.
As noted by Movie Pilot, Black Adam was the first person to receive the magical super powers bestowed by the wizard Shazam at the Rock of Eternity. However, as his name would imply he turned out to be the wrong person to give such powers to. He turned evil, and the wizard had to wait a very long time to find someone else to replace him.
As it turned out, this replacement was Billy Batson – a young boy who in the comic books had a heart of gold. In the old days when the character was at Marvel Comics, Billy Batson would say the word “Shazam” to transform himself into Captain Marvel. But once DC Comics won the rights to the character, they changed his name itself to Shazam.
These days, the wizard himself is simply called “The Wizard” to avoid any confusion. In fact, they may choose to not have his character in the movies at all
Adapting the Character to Movies
Virtually none of the comic book characters that have been adapted to film by either DC or Marvel are exact copies of their counterparts in the comic books. On the contrary, directors, writers, and producers have used poetic license when adapting them to the big screen. One of the reasons for this is that the comics themselves don’t always agree about the nature of the characters.
For instance, in the comics, Black Adam has over the years gone from being an absolute villain to an anti-hero to a straight up hero and then back to anti-hero again. So if you’re a film studio planning on using the character, which one do you choose? Of course, thanks to having both Black Adam and Shazam in the stable, DC can have the best of both worlds.
There’s also the issue of Shazam/Captain Marvel himself. While people may not care for the incredibly dark tone that Superman has taken on in the current DC cinematic universe, it’s unlikely they would embrace the syrupy sweet, Boy Scout that Shazam would certainly be on screen if he was directly adapted from the comics.
One way to get around some of these problems would be to have Shazam and Black Adam be the same character. Given that the studio is apparently planning to produce the Black Adam film first, this would make sense. In the first film, Black Adam would have a confrontation with some of the other DC universe superheroes – Superman for instance – and would by the end of the film have changed so significantly that he would become Shazam.
This would allow The Rock to play both roles without actually interacting with himself in either film. By the second film – Shazam – he would be the hero we all know and would be fighting the standard set of villains that are part of the Shazam canon. Although truthfully, these villains would need some upgrading as well for modern audiences.
[Featured Image by Kevin Winter/Getty Images]