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‘Black Adam’ is merely the latest chapter in Dwayne Johnson’s cursed history with comic book movies

It was a major setback, but not exactly his first.

dwayne johnson hercules
via Paramount

The dust is finally beginning to settle on Dwayne Johnson’s abrupt departure from the DCU, which came only weeks after he’d finally shepherded Black Adam to the big screen after sticking with the project through thick and thin for 15 years.

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Naturally, it didn’t take but a second for the Marvel Cinematic Universe speculation to begin, but it’s worth noting that the critical and commercial disappointment that saw him exiled from James Gunn’s vision for the future isn’t even close to being his first disappointment in the world of comic book adaptations.

Going back over a decade, the up-and-coming wrestler-turned-actor pitched himself to Kevin Feige for the part of Luke Cage, while he was also attached to headline Lobo under the watchful eye of his Journey 2: The Mysterious Island director Brad Peyton before dropping out of the project.

Fast forward several years, and his blockbuster adaptation of graphic novel series Hercules: The Thracian Wars didn’t fare well enough to generate sequels, while he was happy to shout from the rooftops that he was poised to headline Shane Black’s adaptation of Doc Savage, even celebrating his casting with the hashtag #WorldsFirstSuperhero.

In amongst all the Black Adam chatter, DC League of Super-Pets has been almost entirely forgotten about, which is even more ironic when The Rock doubled down on that Superman showdown by voicing three of the four characters in a post-credits scene designed explicitly to set up a face-off between the two titans in both live-action and animation.

That’s an awful lot of missteps for such a big star, but maybe one day Johnson will finally find a comic book gig that doesn’t immediately turn around and bite him on the ass.