In case you might have missed it, Dwayne Johnson’s Black Adam is not going to be a clean cut good guy when his long-awaited solo blockbuster hits theaters next year. Both the leading man and various crew members have made that point abundantly clear, reiterating over and over again that the cosmic comic book favorite doesn’t practice restraint and won’t have a no-kill rule.
Johnson very rarely plays characters that have any sort of harder edges, so it’s exciting to think that he’ll be painting his superhero debut in several shades of gray. Those that know Black Adam’s backstory will be full aware he’s got every reason to be pissed off, and the star’s blend of charisma, screen presence and sheer size will make him a formidable foe for anyone unfortunate enough to get in his way.
In a new interview, director Jaume Collet-Serra offered another comparison by outlining the similarities between Black Adam and Clint Eastwood’s iconic Harry Callahan, as well as his quartet of collaborations with Liam Neeson in Unknown, Non-Stop, Run All Night and The Commuter, so the filmmaker knows a thing or two about grizzled badassery himself.
“Having just done a romantic adventure comedy where he’s very light, I was really attracted to getting the dark version of Dwayne. Basically, turning him into Clint Eastwood in a Western. I was like, ‘You’re like the Dirty Harry of superheroes’. I didn’t have to convince people that I was right for this one in the same way that I did for Jungle Cruise. It’s like things I’ve done with Liam, that tough-guy antihero who has a heart. The world is not black and white. The world is in gray areas, so you need these people that are riding that gray area.”
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One strand of DNA that Black Adam would love to share with Dirty Harry is longevity, seeing as Don Siegel’s classic 1971 original went on to spawn four sequels over the next seventeen years. Obviously, Johnson will be 66 years old in 2038 so that might be asking just a little too much, but plans for a multi-film series are already firmly in place. That being said, a huge, jacked, superpowered version of Dirty Harry traveling through the cosmos and dispatching anyone who dares to cross him sounds all kinds of awesome.