Black Adam producers on the two issues they came up against when trying to bring in Shazam

Dwayne Johnson in Black Adam
(Image credit: DC/Warner Bros.)

Black Adam and Shazam were originally supposed to make their big DC debut as a villain-hero team – in a movie that explained both of their origin stories. Producers Beau Flynn and Hiram Garcia tried to make a film big enough for both characters, but it just didn't pan out in the end.

"We were working very hard to launch both of those characters together, and we kept running into two issues," Flynn explained to SFX Magazine. "One of the many things that drew us to Black Adam was his storied history was a tonal issue – there was just something naturally about Shazam that felt a little more broad, while Black Adam felt a little darker."

Black Adam arrives in the 21st century having spent the last 5,000 years entombed in the ancient city of Kahndaq. Previously a slave known as Teth-Adam, he was given the powers of the gods, but – after his son sacrificed himself to save his old man – a ruthless quest for vengeance saw him locked away for the subsequent five millennia. In the new movie he’ll find himself in a new era, but not necessarily a new man, as he remains – as Flynn puts it – a guy who "doesn’t do well with rules."

"Secondly, we were having a hard time with real estate – in a 120-page script, we weren’t able to figure out how you do the origin story of Shazam and the origin story of Black Adam, and we just kept running out of room," Flynn continued. "So Hiram and I got a phone call from Dwayne one morning, and he goes, ‘Guys, I feel like we need to separate these characters'. He was right."

Shazam! hit the big screen in 2019, with a sequel, Shazam! Fury of the Gods set to premiere in 2023. Black Adam, starring Dwayne Johnson, Aldis Hodge, Noah Centineo, and Sarah Shahi, is set to hit theaters on October 21. 

For more on Black Adam, check out the Halloween Ends issue of SFX Magazine, available this Wednesday, October 5. Sign up for the newsletter to get all the latest exclusives sent straight to your inbox.

Richard is a freelancer journalist and editor, and was once a physicist. Rich is the former editor of SFX Magazine, but has since gone freelance, writing for websites and publications including GamesRadar+, SFX, Total Film, and more. He also co-hosts the podcast, Robby the Robot's Waiting, which is focused on sci-fi and fantasy. 

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