As a leading man without his own comic book franchise, Dwayne Johnson is a rare breed in Hollywood. That’s about to change, as the industry’s most bankable movie star gets set to play Black Adam, the DC supervillain who’s best known for making the superhero Shazam’s life a living hell.
Fans initially predicted Johnson’s take on the Kahndaqian avenger would debut in the upcoming Shazam movie, which we recently learned will star Zachary Levi as the eponymous hero. But Johnson has said that the DC brass led by Geoff Johns decided to give Black Adam a standalone movie first, before pitting him against Shazam in a joint sequel.
But based on a new report, it looks like there’s a third possible scenario that might be in play. According to The Wrap, which spoke to “two insiders familiar with the idea,” Johnson’s first appearance as Black Adam might occur in Suicide Squad 2. The film — which is set to be written and directed by The Accountant director Gavin O’Connor — would once again track Harley Quinn and her ragtag team of Gotham City misfits as they hunt down a “weapon of mass destruction,” which turns out to be none other Johnson’s Black Adam.
The original Suicide Squad didn’t go over well with fans or critics for many reasons. The plot was disjointed, and its stars lacked chemistry. Perhaps the most significant chunk of criticism was aimed at Jared Leto’s Joker and Cara Delevigne’s Enchantress, both of whom felt miscast and misused as the film’s central villains.
If DC wants the sequel to work, it will have to choose a villain worthy of our (anti) heroes. While Black Adam would certainly fit that bill, Johnson’s busy schedule — he has Jungle Cruise, his controversial Fast and Furious spin-off and another season of Ballers all on deck — his SS2 role would probably be more of a MaCguffin than the big bad. The sources confirmed as much, telling The Wrap that Johnson’s role wouldn’t require that big of a time commitment.
We’re not sure if throwing Johnson into the mix would cure what ails this franchise. After all, not even Will Smith’s boundless charm could save the original. That said, when the Fast and The Furious franchise needed a shot in the arm, Universal brought Johnson on board, and well, look how that turned out.