It was announced in 2014 that Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson was cast as Black Adam, then planned as the primary antagonist in a Shazam film. However, as time went on, the DC Extended Universe morphed, first absorbing Shazam's movie into its continuity, and then changing Black Adam's role.
Eventually, director David F. Sandberg would be tapped to direct Shazam!, a film that does not feature Johnson's DC villain after all. Instead, Black Adam would receive his own solo film, where he would be depicted as more of an anti-hero than a straight up villain.
And while fans hoped the soon-to-released Shazam! would at least feature Black Adam in a cameo capacity or an after-credits scene, it's been confirmed that the movie will not involve Black Adam in any capacity. This revelation, of course, raises the question of whether we'll ever see Johnson's Black Adam at all.
When Johnson was first announced as Black Adam, there was only one DCEU film, Man of Steel. Since then, the universe has expanded vastly with the releases of Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, Wonder Woman, Aquaman and more. As overall plans for the DCEU have shifted, more projects were announced, such as Cathy Yan's Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn), Matt Reeves' solo Batman film (with a new, younger actor in the lead role) and James Gunn's The Suicide Squad.
Though it comes in drips, these projects have been discussed by Warner Bros. brass semi-regularly, and yet, rarely do we hear talk of a Black Adam movie. Johnson himself has assured us that the movie was still happening, but he also said that it was still in the scripting stage back in August 2018. It was assumed that the status of Black Adam was closely tied to Shazam!, and that we would learn more about the film and villain when we would get closer to the latter film's release. However, now, we know that, despite a possible, nameless nod, Shazam! won't have anything to do with the villain/anti-hero.
Even more frustrating is that DC's film slate appears to be set for the next for two years, with the solo Batman film and The Suicide Squad scheduled for release in 2021. This means that, in a perfect world, Johnson could finally suit up as Black Adam in 2022 -- that is, if the movie ever happens.
It's no secret that Dwayne Johnson is one of the biggest movie stars on the planet, and he isn't resting on his laurels. The actor has lined up project after project, enough to keep him busy for quite a few years to come. After wrapping Disney's Jungle Cruise and Hobbs & Shaw, he's already announced an upcoming period movie based on Hawaiian King Kamehameha and an original project titled Red Notice, among others. And this is without mentioning his television projects, such as HBO's Ballers and NBC's Titan Games. At one point, Johnson said Black Adam could film in late 2019, but there has been no progress made on that front, and it's looking less and less likely.
Simply put, The Rock's plate is quite full. And while we have no doubt that he can devour all of these projects, you can't help but question the ultimate fate of Black Adam. For the past year, there have been a lot of DC movies announced, from and Gotham City Sirens to New Gods and a recently-announced spinoff movie based on The Trench. There have been so many movies announced, it's impossible to know what will ultimately hit the multiplexes and what will never see the light of day.
Given his incredibly busy schedule, as well as Warner Bros' overstuffed DC movie slate, you have to wonder where Black Adam falls in terms of importance. Since no one involved in Shazam! seems willing to talk about Black Adam, it's entirely possible we may never see Johnson bring the iconic DC villain to life.
Arriving on April 5, director David F. Sandberg’s Shazam! stars Asher Angel as Billy Batson, Zachary Levi as Shazam, Mark Strong as Dr. Thaddeus Sivana, Djimon Hounsou as the ancient wizard Shazam, Grace Fulton as Mary Bromfield, Jack Dylan Grazer as Frederick “Freddy” Freeman, Ian Chen as Eugene Choi, Jovan Armand as Pedro Peña, Faithe Herman as Darla Dudley, Cooper Andrews as Victor Vásquez and Marta Milans as Rosa Vásquez.