With a superstar like Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson attached to the comic book movie Shazam!, those unfamiliar with the superhero might assume Johnson’s playing the title role. However, as The Rock himself is quick to explain, the comic’s fans really wanted him to play supporting character Black Adam. Shazam is just the wizard who grants powers to heroes like Captain Marvel — Black Adam is a character who doesn’t always use those powers for good.
“They first approached me about playing Captain Marvel, and they also said, ‘And there’s also this interesting character too called Black Adam,'” said Johnson. “This was about a year ago, while we were on the set of Get Smart. I said, ‘Oh, okay, great.’ We went down to Comic Con to show the trailer for Get Smart and down there, talking to all the fans, they were like, ‘You should really look into Black Adam.’ So I said to a writer or journalist, ‘Well, right now I think it’s just up to the fans. They should just let me know.’ And they let me know in spades: ‘You should be Black Adam!’ Great, and then that dictated to the studio, to the director.”
Johnson is currently in development on Witch Mountain, but the Shazam project is a possibility for his next project. “I just met with [director] Pete Segal. We had a great meeting on Shazam!, and we’re just waiting for John August to hand in another draft — which probably will be handed in months from now, after the strike.”