Dwayne Johnson says that his portrayal of DC Comics’ Black Adam will be unlike any other role he has performed in his career. Johnson will play Kahndaq’s supervillain/anti-hero ruler, following a long history of interest in the role. Black Adam, directed by Jaume Collet-Serra, is set to be released on October 1, 2022.
Teth-Adam is the ruler of Kahndaq who was bestowed with great powers by the wizard Shazam, as created by Otto Binder and C.C Beck for Fawcett Comics prior to the company’s acquisition by DC Comics. Despite having the same powers as the hero Shazam, Black Adam opted to use his powers for his own ends, which led to his imprisonment until he was reawakened in the modern period and became Shazam’s archenemy. Johnson’s Black Adam is awoken from his captivity in Collet-Serra’s film, and he rapidly catches the attention of the Justice Society of America, who take issue with Black Adam’s violent, horrific techniques and darker morality, and want to set him on a heroic path. With Black Adam’s unforgiving, darker demeanor, Johnson has underlined how different the character is from any other he’s played.
According to GamesRadar, Johnson explained to Total Film that Black Adam is unlike any other role the actor has played in his career. The actor noted that Black Adam’s grayer, ambiguous morality would challenge the audience’s perceptions of whether he is a hero or a villain, therefore he sought to emphasize that aspect in his performance. While Black Adam contains traits that people would connect with Johnson, the actor stressed that the role is a distinct departure from any other character he’s played. See Johnson’s full response below.
“I think Black Adam is going to be a departure from what people have seen of me onscreen over the decades. I wanted to make sure that I brought Black Adam to life, knowing that it was a departure from what I had played before in the past, because there are a lot of elements about Black Adam that are dependent on your perspective. Is he a supervillain? Is he an antihero? To some, he is just a straight-up superhero. There are just natural elements, I think, in me, that are part of my DNA that we see in the character of Black Adam. [But] it is a departure from anything that I’ve played before in the past. A complete departure.”
While Johnson signed on to play Black Adam in 2014, he has a long relationship with the character’s cinematic evolution. Johnson first indicated an interest in portraying Black Adam in 2006, which elicited a positive response from fans at the time. While no work was made for over a decade, producer Hiram Garcia revealed that Johnson had been interested in entering the superhero genre since early 2018, with the producer considering him as a suitable fit for the character while also plainly being passionate about the part.
It is obvious that Johnson places a great deal of importance on the character given his extensive involvement during Black Adam’s long evolution from the page to the screen. Black Adam is a definite departure for the actor himself, who has typically played heroic, less antagonistic characters when in the lead role in his acting career, even though Collet-Serra promises a break from typical superhero origins. Fans of Johnson will no doubt be excited to see the actor take on a darker, more sinister role as Black Adam is about to make his live-action debut.