Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson to play Black Adam

Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson has made it official — he will be playing the villain Black Adam in the upcoming "Shazam" film.

Courtesy of Getty Images
Johnson announced he is joining the DC Comics Universe with this tweet at 11:32 a.m. today: 
"'Kneel at his feet or get crushed by his boot.' My honor to become.. #BlackAdam #TheAntiHero #DCComics."

For you newbies to the cape and cowl crowd, Black Adam is an ancient Egyptian prince named Teth-Adam (i.e., "Mighty Human"), who is chosen by the wizard Shazam to be his successor due to his presumed moral purity. Just like Billy Batson, Teth-Adam says "Shazam!" in order to turn into his alter ego. Black Adam, who first appeared in MARVEL FAMILY No. 1 in 1945, is basically an evil, corrupted, power-hungry version of Shazam, Batson's adult alter ego.

Black Adam on the cover of 52 No. 45
According to ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY reporter Darren Franich, Johnson's casting announcement "implies that development on the film is proceeding quickly, although it’s still unknown who will be playing the heroic Shazam — or, for that matter, Shazam’s teenaged alter ego, Billy Batson."

For the record, I've been pulling for a Shazam film for many years.

Back in December 2011, when Warner Bros. pulled the plug on films based on The Flash and Wonder Woman, I wrote this in the print version of CCC in the NORWALK REFLECTOR newspaper:

"It's bad enough that the only WB movie projects to see the light of day since the early 1990s have been based on two DC characters (Superman and Batman). What's worse is that its distinguished competition has been cranking out project after project and recently announced plans for many more. 

Shazam by artist Alex Ross
"If WB has been dragging its heels and being ultra-conservative in developing 'Wonder Woman' and 'The Flash,' imagine how long it will be before we see other great characters such as Green Lantern, Aquaman and Captain Marvel (aka Shazam) on the Big Screen."

Luckily for fans, each of those heroes have been — or will be — translated into live-action.

We all can agree "Green Lantern" was somewhere between a hot mess and a big mixed bag.

On the other hand, DC Entertainment is bringing Gal Gadot to the big screen as Wonder Woman in March 2016 with "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice" (Click here for a round-up of my most recent thoughts on the Batman-Superman film.) And recent reports indicate WB has owned a URL for since back in 2000 — the same year the studio did the same for

Basically, it's waaaaay too long for Shazam to finally get the big-screen treatment. Just sayin' — for nearly three years now!

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