Given his hulking frame and larger-than-life persona, it’s almost surprising that Dwayne Johnson has never starred as a comic-book superhero before. But all that’s about to change as he arrives to disrupt the power hierarchy in the DC Universe as Black Adam.
But while the character might not be a household name (yet), Black Adam – or Teth-Adam – has been a passion project of Johnson’s for more than a decade now, as he explains in the cover story of the new issue of Total Film magazine (opens in new tab).
Antihero Black Adam is one of the most powerful beings in DC Comics. A slave from Kahndaq granted superpowers from the wizard Shazam, Adam chose a dark path of revenge against those who wronged him, looking to settle the score by any means necessary. Below, you can see three exclusive images of Johnson on set as Black Adam (including a shot of the star consulting with director Jaume Collet-Serra):
The character is, according to Johnson, "a bad motherf*cker". And that’s what attracted him to hold out for 10 years to play him despite numerous opportunities to play superheroes in the intervening years.
"Official offers never happened. It was always conversations with studio heads," he tells Total Film (opens in new tab). "But there was always something unique, different about Black Adam. He was a villain, an antihero, depending on your interpretation of what a villain is. I loved this idea that his pain and rage comes from loss, and was fuelled by oppression. And at some point, he refused to be held down any more. If you wrong him, his family, or his people, then you will die. Period. That is just that simple."
One things for sure: Black Adam is set to shake the DCEU to its foundations. On working with Collet-Serra again after Jungle Cruise, Johnson says, "Right from the beginning, we gelled, because it was like: 'OK, our goal and our North Star is the hierarchy of power in the DC Universe is about to change.' Let’s have guts. Let’s get after it. And let’s be destructive."
Black Adam opens in cinemas on July 29, 2022. For much more on the film, check out the brand new issue of Total Film magazine (opens in new tab) when it hits stands (real and digital) from Thursday, December 9.(opens in new tab)
If you’re a fan, why not subscribe (opens in new tab) so that you never miss an issue? You’ll save money on the cover price, have the issue delivered to your door before it’s on newsstands, *and* you’ll get subscriber-exclusive covers like the Black Adam one below. What are you waiting for?(opens in new tab)