Black Adam is an upcoming American superhero film based on the DC Comics character of the same name. The film is set to be produced by New Line Cinema, DC Films, Seven Bucks Productions, and FlynnPictureCo., and distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures. It is intended to be a spin-off from Shazam! (2019), and the 11th film in the DC Extended Universe (DCEU). Jaume Collet-Serra is set to direct the film, with a script written by Adam Sztykiel, Rory Haines, and Sohrab Noshirvani. Dwayne Johnson will star in the film as Teth-Adam / Black Adam. The cast also includes Aldis Hodge, Noah Centineo, Sarah Shahi, Marwan Kenzari, Quintessa Swindell, Bodhi Sabongui, and Pierce Brosnan.
Johnson was attached to Shazam! early on and confirmed that he would be portraying the villain Black Adam in September 2014. However, in January 2017 the producers decided that instead of being a part of Shazam!, Black Adam would get his own film. This is when Sztykiel was hired in October. Then, in June 2019 Collet-Serra joined for a planned release date of December 2021; though, this timeline got delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. After that, there was additional casting taking place over the next year; this included members of the Justice Society of America (JSA), and the script was rewritten by Haines and Noshirvani. Filming took place from April to August 2021 at Trilith Studios in Atlanta, Georgia, and also in Los Angeles.
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New Line Cinema began the development of a Shazam! feature film in the early 2000s, based on the DC Comics character Captain Marvel. The title came from the wizard Shazam who gives the hero his powers, with DC unable to use the title Captain Marvel due to legal issues. Peter Segal signed on to direct the film in April 2006, and Dwayne Johnson was approached about portraying Captain Marvel later that year. By November 2007, Johnson was also interested in the film’s antagonist, Black Adam, and had received positive responses from fans about him possibly playing that character. However, after some discussion, it was decided that Black Adam would not appear in the Shazam! film, but would instead get his own movie where he could be properly introduced.
Development for the film was put on hold in 2009 but had started up again by 2014 when Warner Bros. and DC began to plan out a list of superhero films that would be a part of the DC Extended Universe. In August, Johnson said he was still attached to the film but wasn’t sure if he would play Captain Marvel or Black Adam. A month later, it was announced that Johnson would play Black Adam.
Principal photography for the new movie began on April 10, 2021 at Trilith Studios in Atlanta, Georgia. The movie was supposed to start filming in July 2020, but because of the COVID-19 pandemic, filming was delayed. The movie’s star, Dwayne Johnson, announced on July 15 that he had completed his scenes and that filming would continue without him in Los Angeles.
Bill Westenhofer is the visual effects supervisor for the film, having previously worked on the 2017 DC Extended Universe film Wonder Woman. John Lee and Michael L. Sale are the editors. Weta FX, UPP, Scanline VFX, Digital Domain, DNEG, Rodeo VFX, Lola VFX, Cantina Creative, Tippett Studio, and EDI Effetti Digitali Italiani are among the visual effects vendors.
Johnson promoted the film at the virtual DC FanDome event in August 2020, revealing concept art and narrating an animated teaser for the film as well as announcing which members of the JSA would be appearing. On March 28, 2021, the film’s new July 2022 release date was announced with another teaser narrated by Johnson. This teaser was aired ahead of an NCAA Basketball Regional Semifinal game and also announced during a “takeover” of New York’s Times Square.
Carly Lane at Collider described the Times Square event as being full of thrill, while CNET’s Mark Serrels said that it was a “very cool way to announce a movie’s release date”. The film was promoted at the 2021 DC FanDome in October, with Johnson revealing an opening scene for the film introducing himself as Black Adam. Tom Reimann of Collider was excited to finally see footage from the film after its long development history, and said “looks like Dwayne Johnson in a superhero movie, which is to say it looks awesome.”
Lincoln and Hughes both noted the scene’s violence, while Patches at Polygon said the footage’s tone was similar to that of The Mummy franchise.