Online speculation puts The Rock in the next solo Superman movie, and The Rock has thrown a little fuel on that fire.
As we all know, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson has been signed to play Black Adam, the arch-villain of the Shazam comic book canon, in the DC Extended Universe. But there has been a little confusion since that announcement over what film we'd see him in first -- either Shazam or a standalone Black Adam movie, both of which have been part of the DCEU's plans. Johnson has hinted that each character will get his own adventure before meeting in a third movie.
Neither project seems to have made significant progress at the moment, however, which leads to a report from a Reddit user -- who claims to have sources inside DC -- that says Black Adam will actually make his debut in Man of Steel 2 as the main villain. He adds that Shazam itself is "off the table" for now, due to studio execs' unhappiness with the script and their desire to get Johnson into a DCEU movie sooner rather than later.
Ironically, Man of Steel 2 has been another DCEU title that seemed for a while to fall by the wayside, kicked to the curb in favor of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Justice League and Wonder Woman. But the film finally appears to be moving again, with Matthew Vaughn tentatively slated to direct, and if this latest rumor is true, the presence of Johnson would probably speed the project along even faster.
The final piece of this curious little puzzle is The Rock himself, who made some interesting comments to MTV when asked about the state of the Black Adam and Shazam movies. After offering some more or less generic remarks about having "great discussions" with Geoff Johns at DC and doing "world building" with both the Black Adam and Shazam movies, he said this:
“We have a surprise for Black Adam coming up. I can’t tell you what it is but … it’s gonna be f**king awesome.”
That surprise could easily be Black Adam showing up in Man of Steel 2, couldn't it? The pair have clashed throughout the history of DC Comics, for one thing, and Superman himself, Henry Cavill, and Johnson staged a little photo op together last December that could now hold bigger implications:
All this is rumor and speculation for now, and it should also be noted that while Man of Steel 2 is still very much in the development stage, Johnson himself has a pretty full dance card for the next year, with three movies -- Rampage, Skyscraper and Jungle Cruise -- all getting ready to shoot. Can he make room to exchange punches with Superman in Man of Steel 2? And is that a battle you would like to see?