3 years ago… The DCEU was a place full of dream projects. Yet most of the fans had nothing, except for the shame of Josstice League around our necks. While we supported the sparks of decency that were Shazam and Birds of Prey, it was the Joker that reminded us all what a mature director-driven movie could achieve. But still, the connected universe of the franchise overall seemed to be heading in the worst direction possible – with no direction at all.
Warner Media finally did what they had to do. The people responsible for failures were fired. A new streaming platform was launched. They finally listened to the millions of fans who loved them instead of the hundreds of critics who would hate on them no matter what. Like Hanuman was reminded of his forgotten powers, they realized their strengths and got their priorities straight. They focused themselves in the best direction possible – forward.
Now 3 years later… As if struck by magical lightning, the DCEU has awakened from its tomb. And they give you their word, you will not escape the hype. Take a look at this slate of content and tell me you are not excited:
- Zack Snyder’s Justice League– An epic 4-hour series/movie starring DC’s greatest heroes and its greatest villain
- Matt Reeves’ The Batman – A noir detective story set in its own unique universe. (The teaser on youtube has around 23 Million views).
- James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad – possibly the only Comic book movie in recent history to embrace its own wacky comic book nature right down to the gloriously campy costumes.
- Wonder Woman 84 – A sequel to an already successful movie which is ready for release.
- And many more like a Gotham PD TV show connected to Matt Reeves’ The Batman movie, a Green Lantern TV series, and possibly they Ayer Cut of Suicide Squad etc.
But the under-looked and possibly the one which could open up a whole new chapter in DC films/live-action content is Black Adam.
Although Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson starring as Shazam’s most powerful rival/ anti-hero has been an idea on paper since 2014. It is only recently materialized. The movie finally got a motion comic teaser at the massively successful online fan event – DC Fandome (more than 24 million views from the world over).
Here are a few reasons why the hierarchy of power in the DC multiverse is about to change.
If there is anyone with more charismatic of a screen presence than Will Smith, it’s the Rock. Though his acting talent isn’t that deep, his commitment to his role and overall star power that he brings to any movie is infectious. The Rock electrified the Fast and Furious franchise with his presence and the CBM world has been awaiting his entry. Though his tendency to often overshadow other characters and hijack a franchise is well-known, here’s to hoping that he allows the director the freedom to bring to life one of the best comic book anti-hero characters.
Black Adam- Not Quite A Superhero
Varying between being a villain and anti-hero at times in the comics, Black Adam is not a goody-two-shoes hero. He is the story of Moses or Spartacus but with more violence, darkness and magical powers. Teth Adam was a slave in the ancient proto-Egyptian city of Kahndaq. As was briefly seen in Shazam, both Shazam and Black Adam get their powers from the same Wizard. Black Adam went crazy with carrying out vengeance especially after the tragic death of the love of his life. He was therefore imprisoned for 5000 years. The character itself offers a lot of scope for grey shades though it remains to be seen if the Rock with his mass appeal would want to water down the darkness of Black Adam.
Deep Into The Shallows
The one person who could stop the movie from becoming just another cookie-cutter superhero movie is director – Jaume Collet Serra. His filmography includes horror movies like Orphan and thrillers like Commuter and The Shallows. Though not a brilliant film-maker yet, Serra has proven that he can handle mature content and pepper it with thrill and depth. He is directing The Rock’s upcoming Disney movie – Jungle Cruise – which hopefully provides him with the necessary experience of working on a big-budget adventure movie.
The Cavill Connection
For a multitude of reasons pointed out here. Henry Cavill could make his comeback as Superman in Black Adam. Cavill is already connected to Shazam’s world via the infamous headless cameo. Bringing him into Black Adam for a climactic reveal would blow peoples minds. The Rock’s ex-wife is Cavill’s agent and what better way to bring him back to the big screen than in a movie with the Rock. Although Zack Snyder’s Justice League will be Cavill’s official return as Superman, having him be in a Black Adam movie provides a ground for him to take off on his own again.
The real ace in the sleeve for the Black Adam movie is the other DC characters it is going to introduce. The Justice Society is kind of a precursor to the Justice League in the comics. The Black Adam movie promises to introduce a version of the JS with these characters – Atom Smasher, Cyclone, Dr Fate and Hawkman. They have just recently cast Hawkman and according to all Hawkman fans (including yours truly), that’s an excellent choice. Of all the characters, Hawkman and Dr Fate already share a connection with Black Adam. An incarnation of both the characters was present in ancient Kahndaq when Black Adam first got his powers. Hawkman with his re-incarnation powers and Dr Fate with similar magical traits are cult favourites among fans. Hawkman has enjoyed a good run independently in comics and if done well, can create a franchise of his own.
The character has existed in multiple worlds and in multiple timelines and coupled with his love – Hawkgirl – plays an eternal dance with Destiny and Fate. (Yes the pun was intended) . Robert Vendittis recent Hawkman comics run is proof of the heights that one can achieve with this unique underrated hero. Also, if DC/Warner Media can give the Suicide Squad B-list character the Peacemaker a series, giving an alien/wizard/adventurer/demi-god like Hawkman a series of his own is not too far-fetched an idea.
Beside Hawkman, the introduction of the Justice Society opens up the door for many characters including Black Canary, Alan Scott the first Green Lantern, Jay Garrick the first Flash etc. With the Rock hinting at cross-overs with some of the Justice League in the future and DC Films head Jim Lee affirming that the multi-verse is official, any of the characters could show up anywhere. All the interpretations, all stories are canon. The possibilities are….there is no better DC-related word for this….Infinite.
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