Dwayne Johnson is set to star in a Black Adam movie for DC. Johnson first announced that he would play the villainous role in the forthcoming Shazam film more than two years ago, but it has now been reported that he will instead headline a standalone movie.
According to Deadline, Warner has decided to split the Shazam film into two. Shazam itself is still scheduled for 2019, while the Black Adam movie has no confirmed release date. It is not known if Johnson will also feature in Shazam.
The star first revealed that he would play Black Adam back in September 2014. In a subsequent interview with Digital Spy, he explained that the more complex nature of the role had drawn him to it. “I just felt Black Adam was inherently more interesting to me because I felt there were more layers to [him], starting out as a slave and then ultimately becoming the anti-hero who we enjoy today.”
Black Adam first appeared in 1945 as a one-off villain for a comic book called The Marvel Family, published by Fawcett Comics. He was later licensed by DC, alongside Shazam, and revived in the ’70s as an ongoing character. In more recent years he has been portrayed as a more complex anti-hero than an outright bad guy, who will sometimes use his powers for good as well as evil.
The Black Adam movie is just one of many screen projects that Johnson is involved with. He has three films due for release in 2017 alone–Baywatch, The Fate of the Furious, and Jumanji, while an adaptation of arcade classic Rampage is also in development. In addition, Johnson is attached to a Doc Savage movie, plus a sequel to 2015’s disaster hit San Andreas.