Perhaps realizing that he is best deployed as a franchise-boosting adrenaline nuke — or that it’s simply more fun being the bad guy — Dwayne Johnson will spandex up as Black Adam, the eternal adversary for Captain Marvel (better, and erroneously, known as Shazam).
It had been rumored for months, but Johnson tweeted confirmation of the role today:
Okay, maybe “bad guy” is a bit of a stretch. Though the character was created back in 1945 as a villain for the “Marvel Family” — Captain Marvel, Lieutenant Marvels, Captain Marvel Jr. and Mary Marvel — he transformed into the militant, violent protector of the fictional African country of Kahndaq. Of course, he has a heart of gold, otherwise, you don’t get the Rock to play him.
It remains to be seen how Shazam — being produced by Warner Bros’ sister company, New Line — will slot into DC Entertainment’s larger plans for their superheroic universe, which will kick off in earnest with 2016’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.
But they’d be fools not to rope in one of the biggest movie stars on the planet…if only just for a cameo.
Marc Bernardin is the Deputy Editor of Playboy.com — follow him at @marcbernardin