Consider the hierarchy of power in the DC Universe officially ... changed. Dwayne Johnson makes his long-awaited comic book movie debut in Black Adam, and the just-released first trailer for the film — which is due in theaters on Oct. 21 — promises an explosive origin story for the all-powerful DC Comics anti-hero. (Watch the trailer above.)
It's been a long road for Johnson to get to this point: his history with Black Adam dates back to 2008, and he stayed with the project even as the fortunes of the DC Extended Universe waxed and waned. But that extended period in development hell allowed the box office success of movies like Suicide Squad and Joker to demonstrate the audience's appetite for darker superhero fare.
And Black Adam immediately distinguishes himself from more virtuous DC titans like Superman and Wonder Woman by revealing that he operates by a different moral code. "Heroes don't kill people," he's told in the trailer. "Well I do," Black Adam responds.
His jaundiced attitude is borne out of his own personal tragedy. Born 5,000 years ago as a slave in the mythical land of Kahndaq, he died and was reborn with superpowers courtesy of the wizard Shazam — the same powers later gifted to young Billy Batson in the 2019 hit. (Black Adam made a brief appearance in Shazam!, teasing a looming showdown between the two characters, who have frequently tangled in DC's comic book universe.) "Now, I kneel before no one," he says defiantly.
In the present day, Black Adam has come to the attention of the Justice Society of America, a group populated by diverse heroes like Hawkman (Aldis Hodge), Atom Smasher (Noah Centineo), Cyclone (Quintessa Swindell) and Doctor Fate (Pierce Brosnan). Fate clearly understands both the promise and the threat of his powerful presence. "You have two choices," he warns. "You can be the destroyer of this world or you can be its savior."
Introducing the trailer on Twitter, Johnson referred to Black Adam as his "passion project" that has "become my DNA." And Warner Bros. is clearly hoping a star his size will stick around for more adventures. Fans are already claiming that he's showing up just in time to save the DCEU and also drawing up a wish list for brawls they want to see Black Adam have.
— Obi-Jon Kenobi (@_ObiJonKenobi) June 8, 2022
DC has started well with the batman
Hopefully black adam continues the streak#BlackAdam
— King Elizabeth (@Mugborn) June 8, 2022
— bigbellyrudeboy856 (@bigboimic26) June 8, 2022
— Grinning Starscream (@GrinningStar) June 8, 2022
" Give the fans what they want. I listen to the fans & I take whatever they're putting in" - The Rock #Superman meets #BlackAdam
This is what the fans want @TheRock..make this happen 🤞 pic.twitter.com/tLGWdaxyBg
— DC World Telugu 🦇 (@DCWorldTelugu) June 8, 2022
If this doesn't lead to a Shazam vs BlackAdam at least give us Superman vs BlackAdam https://t.co/oH819MGcV9
— The IX PHD (@IxPhd) June 8, 2022
Black Adam flies into theaters on Oct. 21