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SYFY WIRE Black Adam

Dwayne Johnson flies into SDCC in full 'Black Adam' suit; Viola Davis' Amanda Waller set to return

DC's newest anti-hero is bringing the pain.

By Trent Moore
Black Adam (2023)

Always one to make an entrance, Black Adam star Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson showed up in full anti-superhero costume Saturday morning in Hall H at San Diego Comic-Con, floating above the stage surrounded by pillars of smoke with on-screen lightning crackling around him.

Put simply, the spectacle of SDCC is quickly making a comeback with the first full-size in-person con in three years.

“It has been a long journey, one that has been fueled with passion, commitment and grit to push Black Adam along. It’s been easily over 10 years. The journey has been an incredible one,” Johnson said. “I love coming to Comic-Con, to be here in Hall H representing a DC anti-hero is truly a dream come true.”

Warner Bros. also brought some fresh footage, which was shown in the room at Hall H, with SYFY WIRE in attendance. The clip started with the footage of Black Adam vs. a team of commandos, then led into a full trailer that opened up some connections to the wider DCEU. The biggest reveal? Viola Davis' Amanda Waller also shows up, as it seems she's working with the Justice Society to address the Black Adam situation.

Warner Bros. released a shorter version of the clip for the general public, which doesn't feature Waller but still offers a great look at all the action.

Check it out below:

The film brings Johnson into the DC universe in style, introducing the comic anti-hero and a smattering of Justice Society of America players to the wider DC world. Johnson has been attached to the role for almost a decade at this point, originally announced in 2014 to show up in the first Shazam! film, before Warner Bros. decided to spin Black Adam off into his own solo origin film, which looks to take a bit of a darker tone than Shazam!

Director Jaume Collet-Serra revealed the film’s cut was locked just this week, and the cast was able to watch the final version of the film before heading to San Diego. The director noted the film will be establishing a new vibe and corner of the DC universe, taking a fresh approach we haven’t really seen before.

“He has a fascinating origin story. A slave 5,000 years ago and given god-like powers. In our movie he awakens in modern time, which is unusual,” Collet-Serra said. "I like characters who operate in a gray area, with their own sense of justice and morality. When the system is broken and corrupt, sometimes you need someone to bring the system down and do unconventional things.”

Johnson added that they feel the pressure of bringing this character to life, along with the history and new territory it creates: “If the goal is to usher in a new era of the DC universe, what does that mean?” Johnson said. “What does it mean to build out the DC universe with the Justice Society?”

Johnson also fielded the age old question of who'd win in a fight between Superman and Black Adam? Not surprisingly, it's complicated: "It all depends on who is playing Superman. I’ll just say that." Hmm.

Some of the cast also reminisced about landing the gig in the first place, with star Aldis Hodge (aka Hawkman) saying he almost lost the gig because he didn’t actually believe it was Johnson calling on the phone to offer him the part, because he was dealing with some prankster phone hacks at the time.

“He told me to ‘eff off when I called,” Johnson laughed. “True story.”

Thankfully Hodge eventually did get the message, and is bringing Hawkman to the big screen.

The rest of the cast of Black Adam includes Noah Centineo as Atom Smasher, Quintessa Swindell as Cyclone, Pierce Brosnan as Doctor Fate, Sarah Shahi as Adrianna Tomaz, and Marwan Kenzari as Sabbac.

Black Adam opens October 21, 2022.

Click here for SYFY WIRE’s full coverage of San Diego Comic-Con 2022.

Looking for more from Dwayne Johnson in the meantime? You can catch the actor telling his life story in the hit sitcom Young Rock, streaming now on Peacock.