The hierarchy of the DC Universe is about to change – perhaps, not in the way that was initially teased to us for months; in recent weeks, we’ve learned that Henry Cavill, director Patty Jenkins, and (potentially) Gal Gadot will not be returning in the new James Gunn/Peter Saffron DCEU. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is now the latest casualty in those retooled plans. The actor/entrepreneur took to his social accounts to let everybody know, after a talk with James Gunn, he will not be returning as Black Adam (at least, not for the moment).
Just like Cavill's statement hinted, the door is open for Johnson and DC Films to work together in the future. This could potentially be a Crisis event down the road, but it’s clear that the DC film universe is headed for reboot territory. Black Adam was an almost 15-year labor of love for Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson – so much as he talked up a lot of plans to build up a Black Adam centered-corner of the franchise. Unfortunately, the film didn’t make enough money at the box office to justify its reported $260 million budget and wasn’t as well received as some hoped.
Imagine if Black Adam’s character was first introduced within the Shazam series of films. After all, they would be natural adversaries – even if Johnson wanted to get away from Shazam’s more comedic/family-centered tone. For now, it’s just a what-if as Gunn prepares to announce the first projects of the re-booted slate at the beginning of 2023.