Dwayne Johnson on Black Adam: "He's a once-in-a-career character"

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

Black Adam is the role of a lifetime – just ask Dwayne Johnson. The actor, best known for playing goody-two-shoes types, will soon be flying onto screens as DC's most powerful anti-hero, ready to disrupt the hierarchy of heroes for good.

"I think Black Adam is going to be a departure from what people have seen of me onscreen over the decades," Johnson tells Total Film in the new issue (opens in new tab) of the magazine, which features Black Adam on the cover. 

“I wanted to make sure that I brought Black Adam to life, knowing that it was a departure from what I had played before in the past, because there’s a lot of elements about Black Adam that are dependent on your perspective. Is he a supervillain? Is he an antihero? To some, he is just a straight-up superhero. There are just natural elements, I think, in me, that are part of my DNA that we see in the character of Black Adam. [But] it is a departure from anything that I’ve played before in the past. A complete departure.”

For Johnson, the character contains elements of superhero, supervillain and antihero. "What makes Black Adam very unique and different is that he lives by a code, too," explains Johnson. "If you attempt to harm his people, his family, his country, or him, he will rip you in half. He will literally grab you by the neck, and then grab you by the thigh, and rip your body into two pieces!" 

Black Adam, he says, a character who only comes along every blue moon. "After being in this business for many years, Black Adam is a once-in-a-career character," Johnson tells us. "I realise, going in, you’ve got one shot, and the pressure’s on. You’ve got to dive headfirst into the fire. Because, also, the superhero genre has been busted wide open in the greatest of ways in our business, and has been responsible for some of the greatest movies ever made. So that’s the measuring stick [you’re judged against]."

For much more from the cast and crew behind the movie check out the new issue of Total Film (opens in new tab), also featuring articles on Andor, The Woman King, and more.

The magazine reaches shelves on August 18 and will be available to order through this link (opens in new tab). Or subscribe and never miss an issue again and receive magazines with exclusive cover images and insider secrets. Black Adam reaches cinemas October 21.

Matt Maytum
Deputy Editor, Total Film

I'm the Deputy Editor at Total Film magazine, looking after the long-form features there, and generally obsessing over all things Nolan, Kubrick and Pixar. Over the past decade I've worked in various roles for TF online and in print, including at GamesRadar+, and you can often hear me nattering on the Inside Total Film podcast. Bucket-list-ticking career highlights have included reporting from the set of Tenet and Avengers: Infinity War, as well as covering Comic-Con, TIFF and the Sundance Film Festival.