Dwayne Johnson recently appeared on an episode of Kevin Hart’s “Hart to Hart” talk show on Peacock, discussing the rollercoaster journey of his film “Black Adam.” The 2022 comic book blockbuster was initially intended to kickstart a new era within Warner Bros.’ DC Universe, setting the stage for a showdown between Johnson’s Black Adam and Henry Cavill’s Superman. However, shortly after the film’s release, DC Studios underwent significant leadership changes, with James Gunn and Peter Safran taking charge. In December, Johnson announced that “Black Adam 2” was put on hold.
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Johnson expressed how “Black Adam” was affected by the rapid shifts in leadership. He emphasized that when a publicly traded company like Warner Bros. experiences frequent changes in leadership, it often leads to decisions, both creative and financial, that may not align with the original vision.
According to Johnson, “Black Adam” found itself entangled in the transition of new leadership, leaving him puzzled as to why the character was dropped, especially considering what he saw as several successful aspects of the film. He highlighted the film’s achievements, such as its strong opening, the return of Henry Cavill as Superman, and the creation of a diverse superhero lineup with characters of color.
The film “Black Adam” enjoyed a significant $67 million opening at the box office, marking a career-high for Johnson and surpassing the $55 million earned by “The Flash” in the same year. However, the film’s box office performance did not sustain momentum, falling short of the $400 million global box office mark.
Johnson likened the situation to new ownership taking over an NFL team and making changes, stating, “Not my coach, not my quarterback.” He emphasized that even with previous successes, decisions could be made by new leadership that would impact the future direction of a project.
In December, Johnson informed fans via social media that he had discussions with the new DC leadership, Gunn and Safran, resulting in the postponement of “Black Adam 2.” He clarified that the character wouldn’t be part of their initial storytelling chapter but hinted at future possibilities within the DC multiverse.
Reflecting on the journey of “Black Adam,” Johnson stated, “All that I can do, and all that we could do when we were making ‘Black Adam,’ was to put our best foot forward and surround ourselves with the best people and deliver the best movie we could.”
“Black Adam” is currently available for streaming on HBO Max.