After many months of speculation, hints and teases, Dwayne Johnson has finally confirmed that he will indeed be playing super-villain Black Adam in the upcoming Shazam, which will be an adaptation of the DC comic of the same name. We knew for a while that he would be appearing in the film, but until today, we weren’t sure if he’d be playing the titular hero or the villain.
For those unfamiliar with the source material, Shazam is the alter ego of Billy Batson, who’s also known as Captain Marvel. He gets his nickname due to the fact that shouting the word “Shazam” allows him to transform into a “costumed man with the power of six mythological figures (Solomon, Hercules, Atlas, Zeus, Achilles, and Mercury, hence the word Shazam).” He gains this power by encountering a wizard named Shazam at an early age, who gives him the ability to turn into Captain Marvel by simply shouting that magic word.
Here’s a more complete summary from the DC Wiki page:
Captain Marvel is the World’s Mightiest Mortal. Originally, he was a orphaned boy named Billy Batson, who was chosen by the wizard Shazam to be a champion of good. Shazam gifted Billy with the power of six legendary Greek figures, and when he spoke the Wizard’s name, he became an adult superhero empowered by six legendary Greek figures. Later, Captain Marvel would gain the ability to share his power with Mary Marvel and Captain Marvel Jr., creating the Marvel Family. Today, Captain Marvel remains as one of the world’s greatest heroes.
As for Black Adam, he’s Shazam’s main adversary who began as a “a corrupted, ancient Egyptian predecessor of Captain Marvel, who fought his way to modern times to challenge the hero and his Marvel Family associates. Since the turn of the 21st century, however, Black Adam has been re-defined by DC Comics writers Jerry Ordway, Geoff Johns, and David S. Goyer as a corrupted antihero attempting to “clear his name.”
It’s important to note that the film actually hasn’t been confirmed yet, and we’re still not sure who its focus will be on. For all we know, it could very well be a Black Adam movie, with Shazam taking a smaller role. It’s being reported, though, that Johnson’s portrayal of the character will be more in line with the 21st century version in that he’ll be playing him as an anti-hero.
No word yet on who the studio has their eye on to play the titular hero, but we now know for sure that it will be Dwayne Johnson who suits up to take him on in Shazam.
— Dwayne Johnson (@TheRock) September 3, 2014