We've known for a long time that Warner Bros. (with an assist from New Line) is planning to bring the DC Comics hero Shazam (aka The Artist Formerly Known as Captain Marvel) to the screen alongside its budding Justice League heroes.
We've also known for a long time that, while Shazam himself has yet to be cast, his nemesis Black Adam will be portrayed by Dwayne Johnson. Johnson's promised us big things through his involvement, but until today all's been quiet on the Shazam! front ... and now we know the project's doubling in size.
Last week, Johnson met with DC Films steward (and Shazam! comics scribe) Geoff Johns, and according to The Hollywood Reporter, that meeting produced the agreement that Black Adam will get his own solo film, which will be developed alongside Shazam! Apparently, DC realized that they have one of the biggest movie stars in the world on the payroll and decided to put his box-office prowess to good use with his own spinoff.
We don't yet know what form Black Adam will take or when and where it will be set, but THR's sources report the title character will take on more of an "antihero" role, similar to recent comic book stories in which he must fight for the freedom of his people. The project also has no script, director or release date yet, as far as we know.
At the moment, though, this can only be good news for DC Films, an imprint still struggling a bit to win over fans while Marvel Studios seems to be coasting through hit after hit. The box-office returns from Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Suicide Squad were solid, but 2017 will be an even more challenging year, with Wonder Woman and Justice League both looking to prove naysayers wrong and bring some joy to the franchise.
Now, with The Rock himself taking a bigger role in the DC universe, we get the prospect of more charm and more box-office power that could eventually be used to beef up future team-up movies. For DC Films, the future looks brighter today.