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Dwayne Johnson to Play 'Shazam' Antihero Black Adam

After months of teasing his involvement with the Justice League universe, Dwayne Johnson made it official on Wednesday: The actor once known as The Rock will play Black Adam in Shazam.

"'Kneel at his feet or get crushed by his boot.' My honor to become.. #BlackAdam," Johnson wrote on Twitter, adding the hashtags #TheAntiHero and #DCComics.

Variety confirmed the news shortly after, writing that Darren Lemke will write the script and Warner Bros. subsidiary New Line Cinema will produce.

“We love Dwayne and have had nothing but success with him over the years,” New Line President and COO Toby Emmerich told Variety. “When I look at Dwayne both off screen and on screen, he is such a larger-than-life character and it just made perfect sense to me that we put him in a DC comic movie. You look at these comic book characters and they have this certain swag and charisma that Dwayne carries with him where ever he is so that’s why this always made sense.”

Johnson has been alluding to a role in Shazam for months now. During the lead-up to Comic-Con, there was talk of Johnson being announced as the lead but that didn't happen. It sounds like Johnson was trying to figure out if he wanted to play Shazam, the movie's hero, or Black Adam, the movie's villain/antihero.

Emmerich told Entertainment Weekly that Shazam is "a DC comic, but it's not a Justice League character, and it's not a Marvel comic. The tone and the feeling of the movie will be different from the other range of comic book movies. ... [The movie] will have a sense of fun and a sense of humor. But the stakes have to be real."

Couple interesting things about Emmerich's statement there. The first is that of course Shazam is going to be a Justice League character. Warner Bros. is intent on capturing the superhero megafranchise bucks that the Marvel Cinematic Universe is raking in. Shazam won't be a standalone movie that ignores that blueprint. We'll see Johnson and whoever is cast as Shazam in the overall Justice League Cinematic Universe too.

The second interesting thing about what Emmerich had to say about Shazam is that he's promising "a sense of fun and a sense of humor." Man of Steel was missing that. What we've seen from Zack Snyder's Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is missing that. And if the rumors that Warner Bros. has banned jokes in the Justice League movies is true, the overall megafranchise is going to be missing that. Is Shazam going to go rogue and have some fun? Or will Emmerich's promise of a fun Shazam movie disappear?

No word yet on when Shazam will hit theaters. If the movie follows Batman v Superman to theaters, the next date that Warner Bros. has announced for DC superhero movie is Aug. 5, 2016.
Dwayne Johnson to Play 'Shazam' Antihero Black Adam Reviewed by Bill Kuchman on 9/03/2014 Rating: 5

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