A spoiler-free discussion.
Dwayne Johnson as Black Adam
The recent release of the DC: The World Needs Heroes trailer during the Superbowl was chock-full of exciting content for all the upcoming DCEU films for 2022. One of those said exciting moments was a more in-depth look at Dwayne Johnson’s Black Adam, which has a currently scheduled release date of July 29, 2022. Based on the various snippets shown in the trailer, it would appear that Black Adam is, in fact, not going to be pegged as the main villain of the movie as initially thought, but rather, it most certainly looks like Johnson’s character is set to be a sort of conflicted anti-hero that audiences can empathize with.
This evidence can be seen from his interactions with the members of the Justice Society of America, specifically with Hawkman, where Johnson’s character delivers a monologue about losing his son, and another scene with Pierce Brosnan’s Doctor Fate, the latter of whom offers Teth-Adam a place with the JSA. If Black Adam is to be a part of the JSA in the film, it would definitely be a complete deviation from his comic book storyline, which often refers to Black Adam as the villain rather than a hero.
Perhaps this particular narrative was purposely tailored to suit Dwayne Johnson’s charismatic and good-guy persona, that way allowing him to channel his characteristics into Black Adam in order to make him a more likable character in the film. This, of course, does have its good and bad points, as the more avid fans of the character might feel that making Black Adam a protagonist rather than an antagonist might just cheapen his entire story arc.
But speculation aside, we do hope that there is no bait and switch when it comes to the character of Black Adam. Fans have already expressed their reservations regarding the character’s look, as he does not possess the hair nor the pointy ears that comic book readers have come to associate with the character of Teth-Adam.
That being said, if Johnson’s Black Adam is to be a sympathetic anti-hero in his debut film, then it could only mean that there will be a secondary villain that will be put in place for him to battle his way through alongside the Justice Society of America. This could be the only likely scenario that would lend proper credence to the idea of Black Adam ever doing anything heroic, and whether or not this is to be true remains to be seen.
Still, 2022 looks like it is going to be a very bold year for the DCEU; with four movies lined up for theatrical release, it would be interesting to see if the films can deliver and finally give the DCEU the necessary break it needs to be taken seriously as an interconnected universe.
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