Dwayne Johnson‘s long-gestating Black Adam project finally has a release date — and a striking new image of Johnson as the mythic DC Comics character.
On Thursday, the Jungle Cruise actor revealed that his Black Adam movie will hit theaters Dec. 21, 2021. Along with that announcement came new concept art — courtesy of DC Co-Publisher Jim Lee and Australian artist BossLogic (a.k.a. Kode A) — that depicted the Rock as Shazam’s biggest foe, which Johnson released on Instagram.
“This role is unlike any other I’ve ever played in my career and I’m grateful to the bone we’ll all go on this journey together,” Johnson captioned the photo on Instagram. “I’m honored to join the iconic #DCUniverse and it’s a true pleasure to become, BLACK ADAM. BLACK ADAM is blessed by magic with the powers equal to SUPERMAN, but the difference is he doesn’t toe the mark or walk the line. He’s a rebellious, one of a kind superhero, who’ll always do what’s right for the people – but he does it his way. Truth and justice – the BLACK ADAM way.”
Johnson has been attached to the role of Black Adam since 2014. Given the character’s relationship to Shazam in the comics, there were initially plans for him to appear in 2019’s Shazam!, starring Zachary Levi as the titular character; however, those plans changed in 2017 and the character instead received his own movie. In June 2019, Jungle Cruise director Jaume Collet-Serra signed on to helm Black Adam, which hails from New Line and Warner Bros.
At the moment, no plot details about the movie have been released. In the comics, Black Adam is usually depicted as an anti-hero, or an outright villain because of his corrupted magical powers; he’s the heroic Shazam’s darker counter-part. Drawing his abilities from the Egyptian Gods, he can usually hold his own against the likes of Superman. Furthermore, he’s also the ruthless ruler-protector of the fictional Middle Eastern country Kahndaq.