In October 2022, we’ll finally see Dwayne Johnson play the role he believes he was born to play: Black Adam. DC recently released the film’s official trailer, much to fans’ excitement worldwide. Despite the relative novelty of the character, we suspect that Black Adam will be an overwhelming success.
The trailer gives us a bit of Black Adam’s background. Like in the official teaser, Black Adam narrates that he was once a slave who died – and was reborn a god. The Rock adds that Adam’s son sacrificed his life to save the superhero.
Black Adam is set to patrol the gray area between good and evil
Black Adam is an ancient Egyptian named Teth-Adam who got his powers from the wizard Shazam. Adam allegedly turned evil, and since Shazam couldn’t take away his powers, he banished Black Adam to a far-away star.
Following a five-thousand-year journey, Black Adam found his way back to earth. He returned possessing his villainous ways but evolved into an antihero with no qualms about stepping into the dark side.
Director Jaume Collet-Serra told Entertainment Weekly that Black Adam’s moral ambiguity convinced him to direct the film. Collet-Serra said:
“Is he a hero? Is he a villain? Is he an antihero? He has such a unique story, and he goes well with my style and view of the world in general. In a world where not everything is black or white, you need a superhero like him to operate in the gray area, who has his own moral code.”
The trailer supports Collet-Serra’s description of Black Adam. In the nearly 3-minute video, Hawkman tells Adam that ‘heroes don’t kill people.’ “Well, I do,” Black Adam replies.
Adam is told that he can be a hero or a savior. He doesn’t reply, but he saves two people from a rocket that would have killed them, suggesting he’s leaning more towards heroism.
However, given Jaume’s statements and the rest of the trailer, we can’t really be sure, which is a big part of the film’s allure.
Dwayne Johnson warned that anyone who crosses Black Adam dies
Black Adam’s story is that he used his power to rebel against the regime, angering Shazam and leading to his banishment. However, as Adam narrates in the official teaser, he suffered under an oppressive government that built its wealth on the sweat, tears, and blood of slaves like him.
Perhaps Shazam should have treated Black Adam as a hero for ousting a tyrannical regime. Had Shazam looked at Black Adam’s deeds from the former slave’s perspective, he might have seen Adam as a force of good.
“I did what needed to be done, and they imprisoned me for it,” Black Adam says. “Now, 5000 years later, I am free – and I give you my word no one will ever stop me again.”
Dwayne told Men’s Journal: “One of the things that drew me to Black Adam is his origin. He started out enslaved. Any time you have a character, or any human being, who has wrongfully been held down by others, it means so much more when they begin to rise up.”
It’s possible that Shazam took issue with Black Adam, not because of the motivations or ends of his actions, but due to the execution of his schemes: Johnson told the outlet that anyone who crosses Black Adam dies. He explained:
“In the traditional DC Universe, as we all know, if you do something wrong Superman and Batman are gonna try and bring you to justice. If you do something wrong to Black Adam, you’re going to die. It’s that simple.”
Black Adam returned to earth a villain but altered some of his ways due to love
In the comics, Black Adam returned to earth in 1945. He battled Shazam and lost against the wizard that gave him power.
He was revived in the 1970s as a villain against characters like Superman and Wonder Woman. Black Adam also appeared alongside heroes in the Justice Society of America.
Black Adam’s change of heart is often linked to a character named Isis. After the pair fell in love, she petitioned him to abandon his villainous ways. However, the potent power of love couldn’t change notions that had festered inside Black Adam for five millennia.
Nevertheless, Isis became a calming influence over Black Adam, occasionally inspiring him to commit kind acts. After the pair married, Black Adam granted Isis a bracelet giving her the powers of the god Isis. Sarah Shahi will play Isis in Black Adam.