Black Adam is mainly classified as a villain and his movie, like Todd Phillips’ Joker, is considered a solo movie for a DC rogue. Details, such as the plot, are a secret but star Dwayne Johnson and producer Hiram Garcia assure they will stay true to the nature of the character while acknowledging he is hardly one-note.
Talking to ComicBook.com, Johnson said Black Adam will start out as a villain — which the comics typically cast him as — and become an anti-hero. Will he then turn into a hero? They are not sure. The Rock says:
“Black Adam, how he starts, he starts off as a villain. Then, he becomes an anti-hero. And then he might become a hero or we might not.”
Garcia describes Adam as a character going through a journey and that is where we will meet him, in the middle of his evolution. He then tipped his hat to fans and writers who embraced and reinvented Black Adam over the years:
“And I think the idea is, look, we know the root of obviously Black Adam. He was created as a villain. And through the love of the fans and through some great writers and storytellers, he evolved into an antihero. The antihero is a character that we always loved and that we responded to.”
Black Adam is an interesting character who stood the test of time. He’s been revamped as many times as Shazam (Captain Marvel) and taken up by different writers every few years. After his first appearance, more and more layers were added, giving Adam areas of grey and his own moral code. Garcia explained:
“But we understand that there’s been many aspects to Black Adam through him. But ultimately this is a guy who he does have a moral compass as skewed as it may be. And ultimately he is a guy that everything has always been driven by his family and what happens to them. And he is never opposed to unleashing hell when you cross him. So I think when you add in those elements of that DNA, those are things we’re very aware of.”
Adam’s fierce loyalty to family, and vengeful hatred for oppressors, was established in The New 52. A nephew who was a slave, Aman, was introduced and he was first chosen by the Wizard. Aman shared his power with Uncle Teth and he used it to exact revenge on his nephew’s captors. Adam ultimately inherited Aman’s power after his supposed death.
Garcia, Johnson, and director Jaume Collet-Serra could draw from that continuity a little. In Shazam!, however, the Wizard (Djimon Hounsou) indicated — without naming names — Teth-Adam was his original choice for a champion, which is a take closer to the earliest iterations of Captain Marvel. Johnson hinted at cameos in Black Adam a year ago but Garcia won’t divulge if Aman or anybody else plays a part until they are ready.
Dwayne Johnson next stars in Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw out Aug. 2nd. He has several projects in the pipeline beyond that. Though Black Adam has no release date, it’s expected to start filming next year. Hiram Garcia confirmed it should definitely arrive after his and Johnson’s production for Netflix, Red Notice.