The Rock Laments His Own Decision Pushing Black Adam Release Back

"Black Adam" opened in U.S. theaters on October 21 after a prolonged development and pre-production period. Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, who plays the title role in the new film, takes responsibility for the delay in the film's creation.


"I did have that option when I started discussing this with Warner Bros. almost 15 years ago," the former WWE Champion told "The New York Times," noting that the studio gave him the option of either playing the heroic Shazam or the villainous Black Adam.

"I appreciated the mythology behind the characters and their connection," he continued. "But I always knew in my heart that I was Black Adam."

Johnson stated he received the project's original script "six or seven years ago," but he quickly raised concerns because it blended the origin stories of both Shazam and Black Adam in the tight confines of a 100-minute production.

"It was convoluted and it wasn't serving them both properly," Johnson said. "I made a call to the people running Warner Bros. at the time and I said we should separate these two so they could tell their own origin stories, and that's what we did."


But despite having Johnson attached to the Black Adam character, Warner Bros. opted to first make a Shazam-related film, which was released in 2019 with Zachary Levi in the title role. Johnson acknowledged that his suggestion for separate films "prolonged and delayed the process" of getting his Black Adam project to the screen.

"It worked against me in the moment, because they went with 'Shazam!' first," he said with a laugh. "I said, 'OK, not a problem.'"