– by Joseph Jammer Medina

It was always interesting to us for the longest time why DC thought it necessary to hire someone like Dwayne Johnson to portray a villain — Black Adam, to be exact — in the DC Extended Universe. When his involvement in the franchise was first announced some time ago, a lot of fans wondered first why they’d lock down a villain so many years in advance, and why they’d select a baddie before the goodie — in this case, Shazam. It’d be like them picking a Joker before picking a Batman, right?

Well, yes and no. While Black Adam is traditionally something of a villain, Johnson was accurate in calling him more of an anti-hero. My own personal crackpot theory for the longest time was that he’d be the main villain in Justice League. The end of the film would see him fleeing and defeated, and he would arise as Shazam in his own film, a reformed bad guy (this would eliminate Billy Batson from the equation entirely). However, DC seemed to have different plans, and last month, it was announced that Black Adam would actually have his flick, ahead of the release of Shazam.

This whole ordeal brought a question to one fan, who asked Johnson himself how the DCEU would handle the character, and if he’d be a hero, despite traditionally being utilized as a villain. Johnson answered in kind:

“It’s really our interpretation, and who we deem a hero. Yes, of course, in the mythology Black Adam is a villain. Or he can be considered an antihero. Or to some, he’s a hero. To some who have a black heart like me (laughs). Again, I love the backstory that he started off as a slave and he was held down. And I think when that kinda backstory about a man who’s held down and he rises up out of that to become greater and then dealing with the conflict of pain of losing his family, it’s dark, but it, uh, also adds to the gravity and adds to the weight of the story. So what does it mean for the movie? It means the movie’s gonna be fantastic and it means that it’s gonna be badass. And it means to me, uh, he’s a hero.”

I still hold that my own personal theory of Black Adam eventually taking on the mantle of Shazam is a possibility, and with the Black Adam film getting a release BEFORE Shazam, that seems all the more possible. While Black Adam may not be a “villain” in his own film, we could likely see him as an anti-hero with a gradually lightening perspective on humanity. If that could somehow lead him to being a good guy in Shazam, that would be pretty interesting. That being said, it would be equally interesting to see our anti-hero face off against a purely good man-child in Billy Batson. 

What do you think of Johnson’s comments regarding Black Adam? What do you hope to get out of the character and the films? Let us know your thoughts down below!

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SOURCE: The Rock (via YouTube)

Joseph Jammer Medina is an author, podcaster, and editor-in-chief of LRM. A graduate of Chapman University's Dodge College of Film and Television, Jammer's always had a craving for stories. From movies, television, and web content to books, anime, and manga, he's always been something of a story junkie.