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Dwayne Johnson confirms 'Black Adam' will not factor into first phase of DC's new cinematic universe
"These decisions made by James and DC leadership represent their vision of DCU through their creative lens."
Sounds like Black Adam won't be shifting the hierarchy of power after all. Dwayne Johnson has provided an update on the cinematic future of the antihero in the wake of James Gunn and Peter Safran assuming control of DC Films. The new studio heads recently hammered out a master plan for a more cohesive cinematic universe — one that erases all existing continuity (i.e., every film since Man of Steel) from the board. The Crisis on Infinite Earths-level reset will take no prisoners.
"Black Adam will not be in their first chapter of storytelling," Johnson wrote in a statement posted on Twitter Tuesday. "However, DC and Seven Bucks have agreed to continue exploring the most valuable ways Black Adam can be utilized in future DC multiverse chapters. James and I have known each other for years and have always rooted for each other to succeed. It's no different now, and I will always root for DC (and Marvel) to win and WIN BIG. You guys know me, and I have very thick skin — and you can always count on me to be direct with my words. These decisions made by James and DC leadership represent their vision of DCU through their creative lens. After 15 years of relentless hard work to finally make Black Adam, I'm very proud of the film we delivered for fans worldwide. I will always look back on the fan reaction to Black Adam with tremendous gratitude, humility, and love. We did great."
Johnson is not the first casualty of the regime change, and he most certainly won't be the last. Despite his long-awaited return as Superman in Black Adam's buzzy mid-credits scene, Henry Cavill has officially been ousted from the role of Kal-El.
"For those who have been by my side through the years ... we can mourn for a bit, but we must remember ... Superman is still around," the actor wrote on social media last week. "Everything he stands for still exists, and the examples he sets for us are still there! My turn to wear the cape has passed, but what Superman stands for never will. It's been a fun ride with you all, onwards and upwards."
Instead of pursuing a direct sequel to Man of Steel, Gunn and Safran have decided to recast the hero in a project that explores an earlier part of Clark Kent's life. Arrangements for Wonder Woman, Aquaman, and Flash are still up in the air, but it's probably safe to assume that Gal Gadot, Jason Momoa, and Ezra Miller are also on the way out.
While Patty Jenkins' pitch for a third chapter in the Wonder Woman series was rejected before any footage could be shot, the cases of Barry Allen and Arthur Curry remain a little more complicated. Both characters have completed or near-completed films slated for wide theatrical releases in the new year (ditto for Zachary Levi's Shazam! and Xolo Maridueña's Blue Beetle).
Given everything we know, it wouldn't be surprising if The Flash serves as the major deviation point from "Snydverse" cannon as Barry explores the multiverse and opens the door for alternate storytelling possibilities. All members of the Justice League as audiences currently know them were said to enjoy cameos in the upcoming blockbuster, although The Hollywood Reporter now claims that Gadot and Cavill's guest spots have been scrapped. Momoa, on the other hand, could shift over to a different DC character — Lobo — after The Lost Kingdom while Gunn and Safran have purportedly reached out to Ben Affleck (the DCEU Batman) to direct a mystery title.
Black Adam is now streaming on HBO Max.
Looking for more blockbuster cinema? Jurassic World Dominion, Nope, and Halloween Kills are now streaming on Peacock.