By the time Black Adam finally comes to theaters on July 29 of this year, fifteen years will have passed since Dwayne Johnson signaled his intentions to play the DC Comics antihero, which was initially set to be as the villain of a standalone Shazam! movie that was first developed by filmmaker Peter Segal.
Of course, Billy Batson’s alter-ego went on to get his own smash hit solo debut with Zachary Levi under the costume, right around the same time Black Adam roared back into life behind the scenes. From the summer of 2017 onward the project kept gaining more and more traction, before cameras eventually began rolling in April 2021.
In an interview with Collider, producer Hiram Garcia explained why both Seven Bucks and Johnson had stuck with Black Adam for so long, even when the leading man continued to add more and more blockbusters to what’s always been one of the most packed slates in Hollywood.
“It’s why we keep so many fires burning. It’s why we’re always pushing and developing, because you really don’t know what script is going to come back ready. Maybe a script you get back is super off and is going to take a lot of work. Look, there’s a reason why Black Adam, we had been developing over ten years, right? It’s like some things come fast, some things don’t, but it’s our job in this business to make sure we continue to keep all of them developing, and they’ll hatch when they’re ready. When they’re ready, that’s when we give it to the world and go.”
The last time Johnson touted one of his star vehicles as a passion project we ended up with Brett Ratner’s middling Hercules, but Black Adam is an altogether different beast. We’re getting the biggest star in the industry debuting in cinema’s most lucrative genre as a character that operates in the grey areas between heroism, vengeance and outright villainy, so the chances are high that it’ll be worth the wait and then some.