September 3rd, 2014 is a Wednesday. I’m stating that because for most comic book fans this is the day you file down to your favorite Local Comic Book store and pick up your favorite books to get caught up for the week. Yet also, this has become a day known for dropping large news in the world of comic books. This date being no different. For years Dwayne Johnson has let us know his interest in playing the character Black Adam. The character is a DC Comics character that is actually one of the companies oldest, going back to 1945. His interest has gone from being prepared to produce a film featuring the anti hero to putting himself side by side in pictures and making sure he was in tip top shop shape to play the character.
The news was first announced via Johnson’s twitter:
— Dwayne Johnson (@TheRock) September 3, 2014
This was news I’m sure all were waiting for. But as I read this I started to think “about time”. I also wondered could this finally be casting that fans and movie watchers alike didn’t have to worry about? Could it be the Robert Downey Jr of castings? I know most don’t truly get what I mean. It’s an odd thinking, but believe me in the short span this news dropped I’ve actually given thorough thought. Keep reading as I explain.
First before I get into how this could be brilliant for DC, I would like to say congratulations to Dwayne Johnson on getting what he’s been asking for. Honestly it makes me wanna stick to my bucket list, cause this has been on his since,dang, before Scorpion King. He’s the main reason noncomic fans even know about Black Adam and the Shazam(Marvel) Family. Don’t believe me look it up. This comes to my first point:
- When Marvel employed RDJ they brought in someone who looked and had the mood of Tony Stark. It was like they yanked him from Brian Michael Bendis and Matt Fraction at the time and said “Tony we got another job for you”. Pulling from some of his best and worst points they crafted a great look by casting an actor who 100 percent felt like the character. This is why The Rock could do the same. For years people have been superimposing his likeness on Black Adam art for years. He has a confidence and knowledge of the character that beats out most other actors knowledge. He has the physical stature that almost guarantees the strength that the character needs.
- When Iron Man came into theaters it took you away from reality. The film made you feel as though the world was starting to expand and that this was truly something that we need to be excited for. Shazam is a character created by Fawcett in 1945. Black Adam appeared once during that time. DC Comics would go to claim the Fawcett characters in 1973. Since then the character has become one that fights for what he believes in at any cost. He can’t be truly called a villain, he fights with the intention to do good. Yet, his is more “might makes right”. This is a character that truly sits upon the idea that DC can take characters and pull us thru the disbelief and make us truly believe, if done right one screen.
- Iron Man illustrates that Marvel’s heroes are its back bone. Robert Downey Jr illustrates that. Black Adam shows that, if your truly a DC fan you know this, the villains and antiheroes are the ones to watch. The Joker is what you think of when you hear Batman. The Rogues are the villains that make Flash tick. Sinestro is the antihero that believes fear assists in making people do what they need to do. Lex Luthor is the guy we all know makes Superman, well, super. Black Adam was the man chosen by the wizard Shazam to be the embodiment of championing the world. He is a character that illustrates what many stories have. The first attempt may not be the best. He was a man with a moral purity and standards of the utmost highest. When he received the powers he became agitated from what he saw. From there a character was built that believed “you either stand with me or get out of the way.” Throughout his history he has faced Superman, Wonder Woman, and the Justice League. But his main opponent and sometimes ally is Shazam. He believes in some stories that Shazam should fight along with him, some stories Shazam is an obstacle needing to be removed, and in others a child that needs to be disciplined and needs to allow him to do what needs to be done. This character would show DC viewers what Iron Man showed Marvel fans. The essence of DC is its bad guys, not its heroes. The best written stories on the last ten years herald there worst. Final Crisis with Darkseid, Sinestro Corp Wars with Sinestro, and even World War 3 with Black Adam himself taking on the entire DC universe and pratically winning. I state this because The Rock does physical bad guys no problem. He started as an antihero under the WWE banner as The Rock. For years you were glued to the tv just to see what he would do next and who would get “The Peoples Elbow”. Also, thanks to The Mummy and The Scorpion King, we get what may seem to be a lead in to a more modern training for Adam. Because Like The Scorpion King, Black Adam, before The New 52, had a family that was lost to him. Its a story that The Rock has played and ready to play again.
- Finally I wanna say that this is an awesome lead in. If I had a choice I would have started with Shazam before any other Justice League movie. Like Iron Man and RDJ, I feel The Rock has a love for the character and a charisma to make us wanna see the others. The new cinematic universe that DC is setting up needs a captain. They need an actor and person who everytime they come out on screen, on TV, on red carpets, they make us wanna see whats next. RDJ lived Iron Man. We had no questions of who was next and if we were gonna see it. Thats what we need for DC. Many have questioned the choices throughout the Man of Steel process. From the Man of Steel initial casting, to the other league members, to the story. Even the fact that Superman and Batmen have the most well known villains and they still choose to use the same crop each time. I mean Batman had the animated series and with Gotham coming you would have no better chance then to use any other character. Thats why Dawyne “The Rock” Johnson is a great choice to be that captain. He’s spent years wanting to play Black Adam. He stays in top shape in case he was ever called to be this character. When asked during interviews or on red carpets he says how much he wants to take that role. Honestly, if they had chosen any other actor for the role besides him they may have become the laughing stock all over. This is a man who I feel would “walk the walk and talk the talk” he’s “drank the kool-aid” and ready to step in. I see this as being the choice that may bring the DC Universe to screens the way it needed to. This is what they should have done in casting Ryan Reynolds as Flash not Green Lantern, but I think with this i’ll let it go.
Here’s hoping that with good writing, an awesome accompanying cast, and a great company like WB and DC behind it we can bring a great Shazam to screens, What do you guys think of the casting? Would love to hear your thoughts