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Dwayne Johnson sees Black Adam as 'the Dirty Harry of superheroes' who will expand the DC universe

During a Q&A session, Johnson shared details about what motivates the DC antihero. 

A still from the Black Adam (2022) trailer.

It’s no secret that Dwayne Johnson has been itching to play the DC antihero Black Adam for a very long time. Now finally, after years of effort, the actor will star in a solo movie focusing on the complex and immensely powerful DC character this fall. 

But which Black Adam is he? The character has had a few different iterations in the comics, and in a recent press conference attended by SYFY WIRE, Johnson shared details on what specifically inspired his version of the character in what looks to be an epic melding of sci-fi and dark fantasy.  

“We’re going to honor the mythology and identify why Black Adam, Teth-Adam, why he is the way he is,” Johnson explained. “If you look at the comics and the origin stories, there are a few ways to go. And we all collectively decided to go this way, this path, which we won’t reveal now … that really anchors him and identifies his ‘why.’ I think that was important, and his ‘why’ is tied to his family.”

Johnson acknowledged that Black Adam’s love for his family is not something that comes up too often in the comics. Given the actor’s emphasis on it during the press conference, as well as the scene in the film’s first trailer that reveals Teth-Adam’s son actually died to protect him, it sounds like that will be a driving force for the live action version of the usual anti-hero.

There were other influences on the character as well, of course. Johnson also mentioned, for example, that director Jaume Collet-Serraume talked about how he wanted to make Black Adam “the Dirty Harry of superheroes,” a reference to the unorthodox and violent homicide detective made famous by Clint Eastwood throughout the course of five films.

And if Johnson has anything to say about it, he hopes the upcoming Black Adam film is only his first foray into playing the DC version of Dirty Harry. “I am 100 percent committed to not only Black Adam, but then expanding the Black Adam universe, the DC universe,” he said. “This is the beginning — hopefully, fingers crossed — of a very long storytelling road where Black Adam is the anchoring jet fuel that will then push and press this universe out.”

Black Adam hits theaters on Friday, Oct. 21. 

Want more of The Rock? Check out Season 2 of Young Rock on Peacock right now. If you're looking for more sci-fi and fantasy, head over to Peacock for films like Firestarter, Constantine, Twilight, Creepshow, Resident Evil, and Independence Day.

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