Black Adam: trailer, plot, cast and release date of DC movie starring Dwayne Johnson - is it a Shazam sequel?
The movie will feature Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson in his first major superhero role
Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson has released exclusive first images of DC antihero Black Adam brought to life, as he stars in the epic superhero movie.
It was announced in July that filming for the movie had wrapped, as The Rock teased fans with shots from his time on set.
In recent months, he has also posted a string of shots to his Instagram account, repeatedly claiming “the hierarchy of power in the DC Universe is changing”.
So, when is the movie released and what is it about - this is what you need to know.
Who is Black Adam?
Black Adam is the DC comic antihero, created in 1945 by Otto Binder and C.C. Beck.
His story was first brought to life in Jerry Ordway’s 1994 story The Power of Shazam!, and the upcoming movie has been anticipated for over a decade.
When Warner Bros released the screen adaptation of Shazam! in 2019, it was only a matter of time before Black Adam was introduced to the DC Extended Universe.
According to the comics, Black Adam was born thousands of years ago in the fictional Middle Eastern country of Kahndaq.
Born “Teth-Adam”, son of the ancient Egyptian Pharaoh Ramesses II, Shazam, a high priest and wizard, rewards Adam with superpowers which come from Shu (stamina), Hershef (strength), Amon (power), Zehuti (Thoth) (wisdom), Anpu (speed), and Menthu (courage).
His speed is thought to be about as fast as Superman, and equally as strong (if Johnson’s continuous hints are anything to go by).
Black Adam is not the good guy, far from it. He was corrupted by Blaze and becomes power hungry.
In retaliation, Shazam strips him of his powers and protects them in a scarab. We expect Black Adam to be arch enemy of Shazam and the movie to reflect his origins and his sense of betrayal.
The Justice Society of America is also thought to have been written into the movie, not in keeping with the comics.
Speaking to Collider, Black Adam producer Hiram Garcia said: “We are so excited to introduce the Justice Society, especially Hawkman who’s such a beloved character and one of those heroes who’s always meant so much to the DC universe.
“When you take a powerhouse like Black Adam and inject him into this DC cinematic universe you want to make sure you are putting characters around him that can really up the stakes.
“As DJ (Dwayne Johnson) likes to say, the hierarchy of power in the DC universe really is going to change, so Hawkman, Dr. Fate, Atom Smasher and Cyclone will have their hands full no matter how we choose to have them interact with Black Adam.”
Who is in the Black Adam cast?
Dwayne Johnson will star in the lead role as Black Adam, he co-produced Shazam! (2019) and at the time it was rumoured he could be cast in the title role which was later taken on by Zachary Levi.
Johnson has stated the role has been the most physically challenging role of his career and has thanked the cast and crew for what has been the “opportunity of a lifetime”.
Starring alongside DJ is DIsney child star turned Hollywood actor Noah Centineo as Atom Smasher. His character features in the DC Comics as a superhero capable of manipulating his size and strength.
Aldis Hodge (The Invisible Man) will star as Hawkman, a member of the Justice Society for America.
Hodge told Variety, ahead of filming with Johnson, that he wanted to learn from the WWE wrestler and idolised him.
“Working with The Rock, man, this is gonna be awesome. I’m a big fan of the moves he’s made in his career and how he got to where he’s at. … I can’t wait to just kind of pick his brain on a couple things.”
He added: “I like to surround myself with real mavericks who are teachers, and I feel like being around him, I’ll be able to learn a little bit of how to manage that hustle.”
Quintessa Swindell (Trinkets) has been cast as superhero Cyclone, whose powers include wind manipulation.
They told NME: “Because the character isn’t so explored in the comics, there’s a lot of creative freedom building off of those foundations which has been really exciting.”
They also praised the “immense amount of creative liberty” given to producing characters the way the film directors invisage them.
Hollywood legend Pierce Brosnan is also cast alongside Johnson, as magical hero Doctor Fate.
This will be the 68-year-old’s first superhero role, though James Bond is practically a superhero *swoon*
Doctor Fate is a founding member of the Justice Society, so it would only be right for the founding father to feature in the society’s first movie stint.
He first appeared in DC comics in 1940 as the son of an archaeologist who was bestowed sorcery skills by the magical Helmet of Fate.
Person of Interest star Sarah Shahi is cast as Adrianna, reported by Deadline as “a university professor and freedom fighter leading the resistance in Kahndaq”.
She recently revealed she signed up to play the role before knowing much about it, but expressed how important her role has become to her.
“I’m Middle Eastern; I’m Persian. And there’s not a lot of Middle Eastern representation out there,” she said. “There are other Middle Eastern actors that I know who are either getting cast in terrorist roles or they’re really being stereotyped by how they look. So I’m hoping that, on some level, Black Adam will help break open that stereotype.”
We can also expect to see Australian actor Uli Latukefu (aka. ‘Young Rock’), featuring in an yet-undisclosed role.
It is also highly anticipated that Shazam himself will feature, though this has yet to be confirmed by Levi or the Black Adam production.
Is Black Adam a sequel to Shazam?
Black Adam is not a direct sequel of the 2019 blockbuster, but the two are inextricably linked.
DC tends to recreate the iconic comics while allowing for variations and alterations to some characters, but the relationship between Shazam and Black Adam is one we expect to see played out on screen.
If you are a DC fan, you’ll already know the DCEU will be ventured further into in the 2023 sequel to Shazam!, Shazam 2: Fury of the Gods.
If Black Adam and Shazam don’t meet in Johnson’s upcoming superhero debut, they will almost certainly come face to face in the 2023 film.
Therefore, while Black Adam is a stand alone movie we do advise watching Shazam to get you in the mood for the upcoming series of blockbusters.
When is Black Adam released?
Black Adam is slated for cinematic release on 29th July 2022. Dwayne Johnson revealed the release date via an Instagram post in March 2021.