Dwayne Johnson has a long history with Shazam!, dating back to at least 2008, when he was first rumored to be in talks to play the DC Comics villain Black Adam. However, the film’s path toward the big screen exactly smooth; its already-slow development stalled in 2013, only to spring back to life the following year with the unveiling of Warner Bros.’ ambitious superhero slate. Fans were dealt another curve in 2017, when it was announced that Johnson’s character won’t appear in Shazam! after all, but will instead star in his own solo film. Although speculation has persisted that Black Adam will show up in a cameo, we do know one thing for certain: Johnson remains involved with the film.
Warner Bros. released the first synopsis on Monday for Shazam!, which promises a “distinctly fun, family-centric” movie set within the DC universe. Just past the plot description and casting details is the news that Johnson is one of the film’s executive producers.
That will undoubtedly fuel even more theories about Black Adam’s inclusion, whether as part of Dr. Sivana’s fiendish plot or as a post-credits cameo, akin to the appearances by Lex Luthor and Deathstroke at the end of Justice League. (Let’s not forget the rumor that Warner Bros. intends to slowly assembled its cinematic Legion of Doom over the course of several films.)
However, it was reported as far back as 2016 that Johnson was heavily involved in Shazam!, from a creative standpoint, and vetting scripts. It’s certainly possible that Johnson, a Hollywood heavy-hitter with a growing list of producing credits to his name, worked out a deal with Warner Bros. to executive produce Shazam! — whether or not he actually appears in the film.
Opening April 5, 2019, director David F. Sandberg’s Shazam! stars Zachary Levi as Shazam, Asher Angel as Billy Batson and Mark Strong as Dr. Thaddeus Silvana. They’re joined by Jack Dylan Grazer as Billy’s best friend and ultimate superhero enthusiast, Freddy, part of the foster family that includes Mary, played by Grace Fulton; Darla, played by Faithe Herman; Eugene, played by Ian Chen; and Pedro, played by Jovan Armand. Cooper Andrews and Marta Milans play foster parents Victor and Rosa Vasquez, with Ron Cephas Jones as the Wizard.
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