'Black Adam' Producer Explains Dwayne Johnson's Absence From 'Shazam!'

Black Adam -A lex Ross/DC Entertainment -Publicity - H 2017
Courtesy of Alex Ross/DC Entertainment
Hiram Garcia promises The Rock's character is "not the Boy Scout superhero."

As is clear from the first trailer, there’s one obvious thing missing from this spring’s Shazam!: Dwayne Johnson as the classic villain Black Adam. He may not appear in that movie, but that doesn’t mean he’s not on his way to the big screen.

Producer Hiram Garcia told Collider that Johnson's team is "very deep into a script" from Adam Sztykiel (Rampage). While the actor has long been attached to play Black Adam, having an antihero and a hero in the same movie didn’t seem to work out when it came to Shazam!, with the parties involved deciding they "didn’t want to compromise either of them by cramming them both into the same movie."

"And so that kind of really freed things up. It allowed us to develop the right version of both," Garcia said.

The two characters are, in comic book continuity, connected in a way that most superheroes and arch-nemeses could only dream of: Black Adam has the same powers and origin as Shazam, being the first recipient of the magic word given to Billy Batson by the Wizard. How that will be handled in the Black Adam movie remains to be seen, but Garcia teased that the pic will be tonally very different from the Zachary Levi vehicle due out next year.

"He’s not the Boy Scout superhero," said Garcia. "He’s the guy that’s like, 'OK, you cross him? Well, I rip your head off and then I move on to the next guy.'”

Shazam! is set to be released April 5, but is unlikely to contain any heads being ripped off.