While DC Fandome hasn’t officially kicked off yet, the hype machine is in full effect. One of the key panels on the schedule for the first day of the DC Universe-spanning event will focus on Black Adam, the long in-development movie starring Dwayne Johnson as the notorious Shazam villain.
Black Adam is the story of a man from ancient times who is granted the power of six mythological heroes and gods: the stamina of Shu, the swiftness of Heru, the strength of Amon, the wisdom of Zehuti, the power of Aton, and the courage of Mehen. What’s that spell? That’s right, Shazam…who takes his powers from six DIFFERENT mythological heroes and gods.
Black Adam has been a thorn in the Shazam Family‘s side since 1945, and Johnson has long been attached to play the character. After years of false starts, the movie is finally on its way, and it will never feel more official than when Johnson unveils some secrets of the film at DC Fandome this weekend.
The official announcement for the DC Fandome Black Adam panel (which takes place at 6:10 pm EDT on Saturday, Aug. 22) is pretty vague, but it seems like we’re going to get some cool revelations out of it.
“Star of the first-ever Black Adam feature film Dwayne Johnson sets the stage for the story and tone of the new movie with a fans-first Q&A…and a few surprises.”
Johnson started those revelations early with a teaser drop on Twitter to hype the panel. Check it out…
OK, so just in case you missed it, here’s a good look at that concept art of Dwayne Johnson as Black Adam from the very end of that teaser.
Want to see even MORE Black Adam concept art, including the Justice Society? Click here!
Now, let’s unpack this image a little. First of all, that is extremely badass. They’ve captured Black Adam at full power, and there’s none of the childlike wonder or inexperience that we get from Billy Batson and Shazam, so this draws a pretty clear distinction between the two characters.
That being said, there are a number of design similarities between what we see here and the Shazam costume worn by Zachary Levi in DC’s Shazam! movie. Whether it’s the glowing lightning bolt that starts at the front of the collar or the “ancient” design touches in other areas of the suit (for Shazam, there were Greco-Roman touches like the fabric chosen for the cape, the key designs embroidered on it, and the “sandals” effect on the boots, while on Black Adam it appears like powered up ancient armor).
Many fans had expected Johnson to at least make a cameo appearance in 2019’s Shazam! film, but that wasn’t to be. The character was alluded to during the scene where Billy Batson learns the history of his powers, but Black Adam was ultimately kept out of the movie. Earlier attempts to bring Shazam to the screen had included Black Adam, but that ultimately didn’t happen here.
“The idea was that the Shazam story merits its own origin story, that the Shazam film should be his origin story,” Shazam! producer Peter Safran told us at the time of release. “Perhaps one day down the road after the stand-alone Black Adam movie, hopefully one day these guys meet up in the same film. But they really wanted to give us the freedom to just tell Shazam’s story.”
Jaume Collet-Serra is directing the film, which will likely straddle the ancient and modern worlds. After all, they’ll have to tell Black Adam’s origin story. But there will be considerable modern touches as well, since Noah Centineo will also appear in the movie as Atom-Smasher, a member of the Justice Society of America.
Black Adam is currently scheduled for a Dec. 22, 2021 release. But considering that it hasn’t started filming yet, we can safely expect that date to get bumped into 2022. The full schedule of upcoming DC superhero movies can be found here.