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After years of development and teases, Dwayne Johnson’s Black Adam finally has a release date. The New Line film based on the DC villain will open on Dec. 22, 2021, Johnson announced Thursday. That puts it just days after Avatar 2‘s Dec. 17, 2021 release date.
Fox and Disney’s Avatar 2 is the sequel to the second highest-grossing film of all time, but DC has had luck in the December corridor. James Wan’s Aquaman, released in December 2018, became the first DC movie to pass $1 billion since 2012’s The Dark Knight Rises.
Black Adam will reteam Johnson with his Jungle Cruise director Jaume Collet-Serra and is a spinoff Shazam!, Zachary Levi’s superhero film that opened in April. Black Adam was at one point to have been in a main Shazam! movie but the studio and producers ultimately decided he warranted his own movie. Johnson has been attached to play Black Adam for more than a decade.
Though Black Adam has traditionally been a villain, Johnson is selling him as a hero.
Johnson positioning Adam as a hero has roots in the comics. When he debuted in 1945’s The Marvel Family No. 1, Black Adam was unmistakably a villain — an earlier version of Shazam who was corrupted by the power. That was a role he maintained through his eventual reappearance in the late ‘90s comic book series The Power of Shazam!, which retconned his backstory to reveal that he had actually been corrupted by an external force, leading to the emergence of Adam as a somewhat repentant — if still arrogant, violent and susceptible to poor decision making — anti-hero in the early 2000s in the pages of Geoff Johns’ JSA comic book. That version of the character, who’d go on to become the ruler of the fictional Middle Eastern country of Kahndaq, has been the primary incarnation of Black Adam across media ever since.
“He’s a rebellious, one of a kind superhero, who’ll always do what’s right for the people,” Johnson wrote on Instagram, “but he does it his way. Truth and justice – the BLACK ADAM way.”
2021 will be a packed year for DC films. Matt Reeves’ The Batman opens on June 25 and The Suicide Squad hits on Aug. 6.
The Man in Black ?? Like most kids growing up, I dreamed about being a superhero. Having cool superpowers, fighting for what’s right and always protecting the people. It all changed for me, when I was 10yrs 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. BLACK ADAM 12.22.21 Huge thank you to my friends, @jimlee and @bosslogic for this first time ever bad ass collaboration.
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