Dwayne Johnson’s developing DCEU movie, Black Adam, may have recently seen its December 22, 2021 premiere slip away in a recent reshuffle from Warner, but the film is nevertheless progressing, as evidenced by the latest news, the addition of Sarah Shahi to its main cast.
The casting, which validates recent rumors, will see Sarah Shahi join Black Adam, as trades such as Deadline and Variety now report. Her character is being described as a university professor and freedom fighter leading the resistance in Kahndaq, an Egypt-like fictional nation in DC Comics lore. Shahi joins headliner Johnson in a cast that, in the past few months, saw the addition of Aldis Hodge as Carter Hall, a.k.a. DC hero Hawkman and Noah Centineo as Al Rothstein, a.k.a. Atom Smasher.
While no specific name was divulged, the description of Shahi’s character and her connection to Kahndaq is a potent one, seeing as it was the birthplace of Black Adam (then Teth-Adam,) some 3,600 years ago; a life long-lived from the power of Shazam, which would eventually be bestowed to Billy Batson. The country’s subsequent destruction in 1600 B.C. led to the death of Adam’s wife and children, putting him on his eventual dark, sometimes-supervillainous antihero arc.
It also might indicate that Shahi—given the caliber of the role—is playing Adrianna Tomaz, a crucial love interest in Black Adam’s post-New 52 comic stories who also happens to be a modernized reinvention of DC’s ancient-amulet-empowered superheroine, Isis, from the 1975-1976 half-hour live-action television series once coupled with the Shazam! series to make up an hour-long block. The CW’s Legends of Tomorrow had its own reinvention of Isis with Tala Ashe’s Zari Tomaz, who was initially portrayed as a sardonic super-hacker from a dystopic alternate near-future.
Sarah Shahi brings a vast history of television stints, recently seen on ABC’s The Rookie and Showtime’s City on a Hill, and known from lengthy runs on CBS’s Person of Interest, NBC’s Life, Showtime’s The L Word, ABC’s Alias and a starring role on USA drama Fairly Legal. She also recently appeared in 2020 films Bad Therapy and Language Arts.
Jaume Collet-Serra (The Commuter, The Shallows, Orphan) is set to direct Black Adam, and will work off a screenplay by Rory Haines, Sohrab Noshirvani and Adam Sztykiel. While the director’s presence on the film made it an instant reunion with star Dwayne Johnson from having just directed him in upcoming Disney movie Jungle Cruise, it will now be a reunion with Sarah Shahi from having directed the 2018 pilot for her short-lived NBC virtual reality series, Reverie. Just as with Black Adam, Collet-Serra’s Johnson-headlined Jungle Cruise became directly affected by the pandemic, leading to its current place on Disney’s release schedule for July 30, 2021.
Black Adam is currently without a release date, but it does seem likely that its release will ultimately follow Shazam! Fury of the Gods, which is now in the far-off slot of June 2, 2023.