The Hollywood Reporter is reporting that Black Adam is to star in a standalone film. Adam was already due to appear in Shazam!.
Adam’s presence in Shazam! means that Black Adam is more likely to find an audience.
This also implies that preparation has now begun for production of Shazam!, which is likely to begin in 2018 in time for the scheduled 2019 release date.
One formula DC could take would be to release Black Adam before Shazam!, thus telling the villain’s origin story before its hero’s origin story, which hasn’t been done before in a shared universe. This twist on the narrative structure would make the DC Extended Universe feel unique from the Marvel Cinematic Universe, which has only ever featured heroes as the stars of its standalone films.
Dwayne Johnson was cast as Adam in 2008, and so will have waited 10 years to debut as the character. Johnson’s continued activism for the DC Extended Universe on social media proves how important this is to him. It’s likely that Johnson will be Black Adam‘s most significant publicist.
Which matters, because Adam, having never appeared in a live-action feature film before – let alone a standalone – will be unknown to audiences outside Adam’s readership. Making Johnson the star will bring his fan-base to it, who may not have otherwise been interested, as well as guaranteeing a certain level of success due to Johnson’s consistent enthusiasm online.
There are also rumours that Adam’s arch enemy William Batson, the eponymous hero of Shazam!, will make his first appearance in 2018’s Aquaman, with Adam also rumoured to also be a part of that. If this is true, it would mean we’d get our first glimpse of Johnson as Adam a year before Shazam!.
While Adam has been cast with Johnson, there’s been no confirmation of who’s been cast as Batson.
The only question that remains is, should Black Adam have been announced this early with so many other DC Extended Universe films scheduled for release?
One thing’s for certain: the presence of Johnson in the DC Extended Universe may reignite some much-needed hope for it.