Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson has released a statement regarding the future of Black Adam, with the star revealing a sequel is not in DC Studios‘ immediate plans.
The first Black Adam film premiered in October, and featured Johnson as the titular DC Comics superhero. In addition to Johnson, the film also starred the likes of Aldis Hodge, Noah Centineo, Sarah Shahi, Marwan Kenzari, Quintessa Swindell and Pierce Brosnan.
The film ended up receiving largely mixed to negative critical response. NME, in a two-star review, said the film’s “fun moments” were “overshadowed by the writers’ constant need to over-explain each plot point”, and said the character of Black Adam himself lacked charisma. “Why hire the most magnetic movie star in the world, only to have him pout and scowl for two hours? It doesn’t make sense, and it sinks the picture.”
In October, Johnson also said there was plans for Black Adam to fight Superman in the DC Extended Universe, and said the character would interact with various others in the DCEU. The same month, producers Hiram Garcia and Beau Flynn confirmed a sequel was planned, stating their intent for it to be fast-tracked into production.
Now, in a statement shared to social media, Johnson has revealed that DC Studios have no plans for another Black Adam film in its first phase under the new leadership of co-CEOs James Gunn and Peter Safran.
“James Gunn and I connected, and Black Adam will not be in [DC Studios’] first chapter of storytelling,” Johnson wrote. “However, DC and Seven Bucks [Johnson’s production company] have agreed to continue exploring the most valuable ways Black Adam can be utilized in future DC multiverse chapters.”
“James and I have known each other for years and have always rooted for each other to succeed. It’s no different now, and I will always root for DC (and Marvel) to win and win big,” he continued.
“You guys know me, and I have very thick skin – and you can always count on me to be direct with my words. These decisions made by James and DC leadership represent their vision of DCU through their creative lens.
“After 15 years of relentless hard work to finally make Black Adam, I’m very proud of the film we delivered for fans worldwide. I will always look back on the fan reaction to Black Adam with tremendous gratitude, humility and love,” Johnson added, thanking fans for their support. See his full statement below:
Black Adam⚡️ pic.twitter.com/b7ZbCJZxBw
— Dwayne Johnson (@TheRock) December 20, 2022
Gunn retweeted Johnson’s statement on Twitter, adding: “Love [Johnson] & I’m always excited to see what he & Seven Bucks do next. Can’t wait to collaborate soon.”
Johnson’s statement about the future of Black Adam comes a week after Henry Cavill revealed that he would not be returning to the role of Superman following a recent meeting with Gunn and Safran. Cavill had previously announced in October he would be reprising the role. Gunn later confirmed Cavill would not be returning, saying the next Superman film in the DCEU was going to focus on “an earlier part” of Clark Kent’s life.
Earlier in the month, Wonder Woman and Wonder Woman 1984 filmmaker Patty Jenkins released a statement in which she addressed a planned third film in the series being cancelled by DC Studios. “I was open to considering anything asked of me,” Jenkins said at the time. “It was my understanding that there was nothing I could do to move anything forward at this time.”
Gunn responded to backlash around some of his recent decisions as head of DC Studios this week, addressing the “certain minority of people online” who had been “uproarious & unkind, to say the least”.
“Our choices for the DCU are based upon what we believe is best for the story & best for the DC characters who have been around for nearly 85 years,” Gunn said. “Perhaps these choices are great, perhaps not, but they are made with sincere hearts & integrity & always with the story in mind.”
Gunn continued: “We were aware there would be a period of turbulence when we took this gig, & we knew we would sometimes have to make difficult & not-so-obvious choices, especially in the wake of the fractious nature of what came before us. But this means little to us in comparison to our jobs as artists & custodians in helping to create a wide & wonderful future for DC.”