Dwayne Johnson, who played Black Adam in DC Films’ Black Adam movie, recently put the blame on new leadership as the reason why his plans for the character and DC were scrapped.

Dwayne Johnson in 'Black Adam' (2022), Warner Bros. Pictures

Dwayne Johnson in ‘Black Adam’ (2022), Warner Bros. Pictures

Johnson appeared on Peacock’s Hart to Heart with Kevin Hart who asked him, “I want to know why, especially when there’s such a successful opening, you seem to have the appetite from your fan base for me. What’s the reason or reasons for the stopping of Black Adam?”

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Johnson responded, “I think that Black Adam got caught in a vortex of new leadership. And at that time, as we were creating Black Adam, developing it, shooting Black Adam, we got knocked down a little bit because of Covid and the shutdowns, got back up.”

“There were so many changes in leadership,” Johnson continued. “And as you know, any time you have a company, but especially that size and magnitude, that’s a publicly traded company and you have all those changes in leadership, you have people coming in who creatively, fiscally are going to make decisions that you may not agree with philosophically.”

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Teth-Adam amidst the flames in Black Adam (2022), DC Films

He then reiterated, “So I think Black Adam was one of those movies that got caught in that web of new leadership. And, you know, that will always be one of the biggest mysteries, I think, not only for me and us on our end, but also throughout our business, because that’s a Kevin question. That was a question out of Wall Street. That was a question out of Hollywood.”

Johnson then posited all the things he had going in favor for the film and noted how it did not get a release in China, “Like, wait a second, you had the biggest opening of your career. Sure, no China. That could have been maybe $100, maybe $200 more million. You’re establishing a new superhero. You want to grow out the new franchise. You bring back Superman in Henry Cavill. The world went crazy.”

He then threw down the identity politics cards, “And also, too. You were texting me this on opening weekend. Is we created a diverse superhero portfolio where we had just men and women of color, you know, in Black Adam 2 as well.”

Aldis Hodge as Hawkman in Black Adam (2022), Warner Bros. Pictures

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Later in the interview, Johnson added, “I think as business-minded, you and I, who are always thinking audience first. Yes, we look at and respect the line economically, but also when you think about opportunity, and creating opportunity, and creating things that are fresh and delivering for the audience, which is our number one boss, when that wasn’t look at through that lens, it makes things a little bit more challenging, I think, for guys like you and I, where you go, ‘Are you sure you want to do this?'”

“But hey, at the end of the day, you know what it is? It’s like new ownership coming in, buying an NFL team and going, ‘Alright not my head coach, not my quarterback.’ Doesn’t matter how many times you won the Super Bowl, doesn’t matter how many rings we got, I’m going with somebody else,” he concluded.

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson as Black Adam in Black Adam (2022), Warner Bros. Pictures

Black Adam had a domestic opening weekend of $67 million according to The-Numbers. The film went on to gross $168.1 million domestically and another $223.1 million internationally for a global gross of $391.2 million. The film’s DVD and Blu-ray sales have totaled $6.5 million in sales domestically.

The movie reportedly had a production budget of $200 million, which means on the conservative end the movie needed to gross at least $500 million to break. Using this conservative estimate as the break even point, the film lost Warner Bros. Pictures around $65.2 million.

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

RELATED: Insider Claims ‘Black Adam’ Star Dwayne Johnson May Have Destroyed His Own Plan For DC Supremacy By Meeting Secretly With David Zaslav: “It Ruffled Feathers Internally”

Back in January, an anonymous source informed Variety that Johnson’s plans for DC and Black Adam were scrapped due to these box office losses. The source said, “His demands increased and the returns just weren’t there.”

Not only did this anonymous source claim Johnson’s plans were scrapped, but Variety’s Tatiana Siegel reported that Johnson “directly pitched CEO David Zaslav on a multiyear plan for Black Adam and a Cavill-led Superman in which the two properties would interweave, setting up a Superman-versus-Black Adam showdown.”

This reportedly ruffled feathers at Warner Bros. who did not like Johnson going straight to Zaslav with his plans.

Doctor Fate (Pierce Brosnan) defies Teth-Adam (Dwayne Johnson) in Black Adam (2022) via Warner Bros. Pictures

On top of the box office losses, Variety also noted that Johnson did little to promote the animated DC League of Super-Pets film despite demanding a producing credit and that he also insisted on using the Black Adam premiere to promote his tequila brand Teremana.

DC League of Super-Pets had a $93.6 million domestic gross and another $110.2 million international for a global gross of $203.8 million. That film had an estimated production budget of $90 million meaning it needed to gross $225 million to break even. It did not and thus resulted in around a $12.6 million loss.

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson as Black Adam in Black Adam (2021), Warner Bros. Pictures

What do you make of Johnson’s explanation for why his plans for Black Adam and DC were scrapped?

NEXT: Dwayne Johnson’s ‘Black Adam’ Production Budget Reportedly Ballooned To $260 Million After Costly Reshoots


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    John F. Trent
    Founder and Editor-in-Chief

    John is the Editor-in-Chief here at Bounding Into Comics. He is a massive Washington Capitals fan, lover of history, and likes to dabble in economics and philosophy.