Black Adam May Show Up Sooner Than Expected in the DCEU

Dwayne Johnson is teasing a surprise for Shazam fans: there are plans for Black Adam before his solo movie.

Black Adam in DC Shazam Comics

At this point, I can’t even remember a time when Dwayne Johnson wasn’t attached to play Black Adam in a DC Extended Universe movie. Once upon a time he may have played the heroic title role in Shazam, before deciding on Black Adam, and then it was decided that in addition to the Shazam movie, we’d also get Mr. Johnson starring in a Black Adam solo film.

Whenever Dwayne Johnson is on the promotional trail for one of his movies (which is often, because he is always working), he offers some updates about playing Black Adam, with or without the Shazam movie. So there’s still plenty of talk, but no sign of a release date Black Adam, and we still haven’t caught so much as a glimpse of the Rock with a giant golden lightning bolt on his chest.

But that might change a little sooner than expected.

“We’ve had great conversations with Geoff Johns and everyone over at DC,” Mr. Johnson told Fandango. “It’s an exciting time right now for everyone at DC because they are in a process now where they are building out [their DC universe] really nicely. We have a really cool surprise for Black Adam that I can’t reveal, in terms of where we will see Black Adam being introduced.”

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So, it sounds like we won’t have to wait that much longer. Some possibilities spring immediately to mind. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice wasn’t shy about offering the briefest of visual teases for characters like The Flash, Aquaman, and Cyborg. Could November’s Justice League movie do something similar for the next wave of DC heroes and villains? It wouldn’t take much to glimpse Black Adam in Batman’s files, for example.

Another possibility would be next year’s Aquaman movie. Since that film deals with the monarch of Atlantis, and Black Adam is the warrior king of Khandaq, it might make sense to introduce one fictional country’s leader in the movie of another. I wouldn’t expect either of these to amount to much screen time, though.

But then there’s the real outlier. Warner Bros. apparently still has plans for another solo Superman movie, and since Johnson first took the role he has always hinted that he’d like to see Black Adam “throw down” with Superman, and he’s even teased his meetings with Henry Cavill on Instagram. When Fandango asked him about the possibility of a Superman/Black Adam battle, Johnson answered “One fine day…that’s coming…that’s in the cards.” Since Warner Bros. seems a little gun shy about the prospects of Superman as a solo franchise prospect these days, maybe Man of Steel 2 could be used to introduce both Black Adam and Shazam. The animated Superman/Shazam: The Return of Black Adam (which is rather good) explored this ground, and it would certainly make for a different kind of Superman movie.

Shazam is currently scheduled for release on April 5, 2019. Black Adam doesn’t have a release date, and neither does Man of Steel 2. The full DC superhero movie calendar is here.