A spoiler-free discussion.
Where Hollywood is concerned, Dwayne Johnson is arguably its biggest star and, therefore, its biggest cash cow. The professional wrestler turned actor known for the heaps of charisma he exudes both on and off-screen makes him an individual that would be extremely difficult to dislike. Thus, it was only a matter of time before Johnson would inevitably be approached to star in a superhero film. After all, charisma aside, the man certainly has the build to accurately translate a muscle-bound comic book hero onto the live-action big screen.
Known for his heroic portrayals in various films, it came as no surprise when DC Comics initially offered the role of Captain Marvel, a.k.a. Shazam, to Johnson, which would have given the actor the perfect role to showcase his heroic prowess further. However, Johnson would eventually turn the role down, opting instead to portray Shazam’s primary antagonist, Black Adam. Fast forward to today, Black Adam has since wrapped filming and is in the post-production stage, with a release date slated for July 29th, 2022.
As excited as we are to see Dwayne Johnson as Black Adam, we would be lying if we said that we were not at all hesitant about his casting as the villain. This simply boils down to the fact that Johnson has not really played a truly villainous role throughout his career. Of course, this is not to say that he has never played an antagonist at all: far from it. But in all the roles that Johnson has been in that made him out to be the antagonist, his immediate likeability became his biggest flaw. This often made it difficult to see Johnson as a true villain, one that would be taken seriously enough to justify the character as a true baddy.
Dwayne Johnson as Black Adam, seen here in a sneak peek of a scene from the upcoming film
Black Adam, on the other hand, is an example of a true baddy. His immortality and imprisonment for over a millennia by the wizard Shazam have rendered him cold and indifferent to all that exists around him. He is a man of few words, leaving only death and destruction in his wake, possessing absolute power and a skewed view of how the world should be. Therefore, in comparison to Dwayne Johnson’s other villainous roles, Black Adam is sure to be the actor’s darkest one yet. In order to nail the part, Johnson would have to trade in his now-iconic brow-lift, illuminating smile, and kind nature to embody a convincing all-powerful, god-like villain.
Whether or not the actor is able to achieve this darker feat remains to be seen. That being said, if Johnson does manage to pull off the character of Black Adam, it would certainly not have been the first time that we, as audiences, were pleasantly surprised by such an achievement in DC Comics film history.
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