After months of cryptic social media teasing, it looks like Dwayne Johnson (aka The Rock) is ready to reveal his role in the emerging DC Cinematic Universe. The star (fresh off the disappointing box-office performance of “Hercules“) has for some time suggested that he’s been in talks with Warner Bros to play a role in one of their upcoming movies, leading to speculation that he’d be cast in roles ranging from a villain in “Batman V. Superman” to Aquaman.
But it hasn’t been long since Johnson basically spilled the beans that he’d be appearing in the studio’s take on the classic character ‘Shazam” (previously known as Captain Marvel), but wouldn’t reveal whether he was playing the title character (a young boy named Billy Batson, who after speaking that magic word turns into a hero with the powers of Solomon, Hercules, Atlas, Zeus, Achilles and Mercury), or his arch-nemesis Black Adam. But according to a tweet from the wrestler-turned-actor, it’s very much the latter.
For the uninitiated, Black Adam is traditionally a skeezy archaeologist who transforms into an ancient Egyptian superpowered being and becomes the hero’s greatest adversary (though he’s been a good guy more than once). Johnson could easily have played either role, but it seems that he’s ended up favoring the villainous side: not hugely surprising, given that he made his name as a wrestling heel. It’s interesting, though, that Johnson refers to him as ‘The Anti-Hero’—could he end up fighting on the side of the angels at some point?
It beg the question, though: who could play Shazam in this case? Johnson’s a formidable presence, and he’d need someone of a similar stature to face off against him here. Like almost everything else around the project (including the director), who that could be remains under wraps, but it’s good to see DC landing such a big-name villain for the project: with respect to the likes of Johnson, Michael Shannon and Jesse Eisenberg, the one thing DC Movies seem to have over Marvel pictures is superior bad guys. And Variety reveals that the project now has a writer, in the shape of Darren Lemke, who co-penned “Shrek Forever After,” “Turbo,” “Jack The Giant Slayer” and the upcoming “Goosebumps.” “Shazam” is rumored to be heading to theaters in 2016, though 2017 feels like a better bet at this stage.
— Dwayne Johnson (@TheRock) September 3, 2014