Black Adam's long trip from Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson's casting to its actual production may have fans feeling shaky about the Shazam!-adjacent comic adaptation, but now that the film actually has a director attached, it seems like the final version of the story is finally taking form — and it'll be a more sinister entry into the DCEU than some comic fans are used to.
Speaking to ComicBook.com, producer Hiram Garcia provided an update on the film's production (which has not yet finalized a costume design) that's all about the character arc of its central superhero/villain. Black Adam started off as a corrupt, exiled version of Captain Marvel, aka Shazam, but that's not where his story ended in the comics. His present form is far more interested in a certain sense of justice ... just not the goodie-two-shoes Superman brand of it.
So where does the film character fit into this dynamic? Garcia explained that fans are "going to meet a character who's going through a journey."
"He was created as a villain," Garcia said. "And through the love of the fans and through some great writers and storytellers, he evolved into an antihero ... But we understand that there's been many aspects to Black Adam through him. But ultimately this is a guy who, he does have a moral compass, as skewed as it may be. And ultimately he is a guy that everything has always been driven by his family and what happens to them, and he is never opposed to unleashing hell when you cross him."
It sounds like director Jaume Collet-Serra's task over the course of the film will be taking Black Adam from a more traditional villain to somewhere between the Suicide Squad and Deadpool. Heroism, but not Lawful Good heroism. And by the sound of things, it'll all be fueled by the murder of his wife and children by the evil priest Ahk-ton back in Ancient Egypt. Get ready for lots of time jumps.
"He's not just justice for all," Garcia told ComicBook.com. "And he's not just a villain. This is a guy who's complex, who's had many things happen to him, and that all shows in his actions. So this is a guy who's going through a journey. He will find himself, but where it goes, you guys will have to find out." And as far as the look of the antihero? Well, they're working on it.
"We're in that process," Garcia said. "We have an idea of the direction we want to go, but we're actually in the process now of assembling our crew and our team of filmmakers. So all that is in the works."
Black Adam does not yet have a release date.