The groundwork Dwayne Johnson tried to lay for his own DC Universe that would have held onto Henry Cavill in the critical role of Superman was wrecked when James Gunn and Peter Safran took over DC Studios. Any specifications Johnson had, they decided weren’t worth their time, and out went Cavill – and the former was recently asked about this.

Dwayne “The Rock Johnson” as Black Adam in Black Adam via Warner Bros. Pictures YouTube

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“All that I can do, and all that we could do when we were making Black Adam, was to put our best foot forward and surround ourselves with the best people and deliver the best movie we could,” Johnson said to Variety at the Oscars. “Our audience score was in the 90s. Critics took a couple of shots, but that’s just the business of it.”

Using a football analogy for the takeover by Gunn and Safran, he added, “But I think it’s almost like when you have a pro football team and your quarterback wins championships and your head coach wins championships and then a new owner comes in and says, ‘Not my coach, not my quarterback. I’m going to go with somebody new.'”

Black Adam wrestles with Fate

Teth (Dwayne Johnson) vs. Dr. Fate (Pierce Brosnan) in Black Adam (2022)

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Johnson sounds as if he takes the transition in stride though it’s clear he might have liked to carry his DCU vision into the future. He touts Black Adam’s audience score just as he did the small apocryphal “profit” the film supposedly made in a claim that was rebuked. Moreover, to keep Cavill as one of his centerpieces he moved Heaven and Earth.

Some say Johnson went too far with this objective, allegedly ruffling feathers and going over executives’ heads to get his way. All the while, Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav went behind Johnson’s back to hire Gunn to reinterpret Superman, also without the knowledge of Cavill. So in the dark, the actor rang in his ill-fated comeback in a special video message.

Zachary Levi as Shazam in Shazam! Fury of the Gods (2023), DC Studios

As Cavill was walked out the door, Johnson and Gunn had a meeting which resulted in Black Adam not being part of the first chapter of Gunn’s Gods and Monsters vision for the DCU. “However, DC and Seven Bucks have agreed to continue exploring the most valuable ways Black Adam can be utilized in future DC multiverse chapters.” Holding true to that might prove easier said than done.

And that isn’t solely because too much time could go by. The star’s reputation might have taken a serious hit internally for maneuvers he made in relation to the Shazam movies. TheWrap reports Johnson was trying to restructure the DCEU around himself and Henry Cavill for a future showdown between Black Adam and Superman that left Shazam out.

Shazam (Zachary Levi) deals with two robbers in Shazam! (2019), Warner Bros. Pictures

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Zachary Levi was persona non grata in Black Adam and that was by design as Johnson allegedly said no to a cameo. He later reportedly blocked David Sandberg, it’s added, from using any Justice Society members in Shazam! Fury of the Gods’ post-credit scene in which Emilia Harcourt (Jennifer Holland) and John Economos (Steve Agee) try to recruit old Sparklefingers.

Levi bolstered the credibility of these details from behind the scenes of each production when he shared them and cited the source in an Instagram story that’s blowing up on social media. Levi added text to his story to caption it with his commentary on the scandal. It said, “The truth shall set you free.” For many, that says everything.

Zachary Levi Instagram

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