It’s been a long time in coming, but according to Dwayne Johnson, the DC Extended Universe’s Black Adam movie may finally begin filming next year.
“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,” he said in an interview with Yahoo Movies, promoting his film Rampage.
While offering some qualified praise the divisive franchise, he said that this new entry will hopefully be true to the mythology around Black Adam, tie into other DC Comics properties and still “make sure that he’s badass.”
In the comics, Black Adam is an antagonist of the Shazam series. In the days of ancient Egypt, the warrior Teth-Adam was granted superpowers whenever he says the name of the wizard Shazam. However, tragedy eventually causes him to use those powers for evil, and the wizard banished him (into space, a magical tomb, it varies).
Millennia later, the wizard has passed on his powers to a boy named Billy Batson, who, like Black Adam, transforms into an adult superhero by saying “Shazam!” Black Adam returns, the pair become enemies. However, as time goes on he becomes more of an anti-hero, and the pair become allies against other evildoers.
Johnson, a big fan of Black Adam, originally signed up to play him in 2014. He was originally going to be the antagonist of the upcoming Shazam movie (set for an April 5, 2019 release), but the villain has since been changed to Doctor Sivana, to be played by Mark Strong.
Black Adam is still getting his solo movie, however, which is expected to be a prequel giving the character’s origin. Since it will come after Shazam, it could set the stage for a theoretically Shazam 2, where Teth-Adam and Billy Batson will meet in the modern era and come to blows, presumably before a redemption arc.
Of course, each day seems to bring another rumor about which DCEU film will come next (Batgirl and Birds of Prey have been mentioned recently), so it remains to be seen if Johnson will get his wish. If so, it’s setting Shazam up as one of the big sub-series of the franchise.