Samir Hussein/WireImage; DC
Johnson will make his superhero debut as the DC supervillain in the Shazam sequel and in a planned spin-off film. The actor confirmed that the superhero team the Justice Society will be introduced and will include Hawkman, Doctor Fate, Cyclone, and Atom Smasher (played by Noah Centineo). The production also revealed some concept art of each:
THE JUSTICE SOCIETY OF AMERICA ♥️ pic.twitter.com/P3NMzTLMZh— The Arkham Guy 👁️ (@ggangelglez) August 22, 2020
"One of the things I always admired about him is he's an anti-hero," Johnson said of his character. "I love that he doesn’t walk the line and has his own sense of Black Adam justice and I love that his origins are that of a slave — his people were enslaved and his family was enslaved ... he felt the burden and pressures of a larger entity holding him down. When you come from that place, there’s a different energy … which informs how Black Adam operates."
"We know he’s one of the most powerful [characters] in the DC universe," Johnson added, "but [superheroes] have to exhibit a bit of restraint when those are opposing them. But this idea that you can take all of Black Adam's powers and he does not practice restraint — that makes for a powerful combination, one that’s explosive and very dangerous and, to me, very likable. He is a ruthless keeper of justice."
Shazam 2 was originally scheduled to begin filming in June, but was pushed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The character in the comics was originally an ancient Egyptian who emerged in modern times and became Shazam's nemesis. Later iterations had Black Adam as less an outright villain and more like an antihero.
“Like most kids growing up, I dreamed about being a superhero," Johnson wrote on Instagram last year. "Having cool superpowers, fighting for what’s right, and always protecting the people. It all changed for me when I was 10 yrs old and was first introduced to the greatest superhero of all time – SUPERMAN. As a kid, Superman was the hero I always wanted to be. But, a few years into my fantasy, I realized that Superman was the hero I could never be. I was too rebellious. Too rambunctious. Too resistant to convention and authority. Despite my troubles, I was still a good kid with a good heart – I just liked to do things my way. Now, years later as a man, with the same DNA I had as a kid – my superhero dreams have come true. 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. 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.