Dwayne Johnson is putting the finishing touches on his Black Adam movie and some new details indicate that it could be a bigger entry in the DC Extended Universe than previously thought.
It’s no secret that DC Comics movies are in a state of uncertainty right now. Its tentpole team-up Justice League was marred by bad reviews that, for better or worse, the release of the Snyder Cut has made all the more complicated. Uncertain as to what constitutes canon and with more fringe entries like Birds of Prey, Suicide Squad, and Shazam also in the rotation, it’s unclear what the future holds for the counterweight to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe. Amid all that uncertainty, enter reliable box-office heavy-hitter (literally), Dwayne Johnson.
The megastar has been teasing the release of his run as the anti-hero Black Adam for years, most recently with a set photo posted to the Dwayne Johnson Instagram account that finally gives fans a glimpse, albeit a small one, at his costume for the film. However, that’s not the only big news to come out of the Black Adam production this week.
Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter, actress Sarah Shahi spoke about her role and revealed that Dwayne Johnson’s entrance into the DC Extended Universe may provide the franchise with a way to introduce even more villainous characters plucked from the pages of DC Comics — including her.
Shahi revealed that she plays a character named Adrianna, who she describes as a freedom fighter that’s leading a resistance against a nefarious and evil group called Intergang. While that doesn’t sound like much, DC Comics fans recognize both names as being important both to Dwayne Johnson’s character as well as the previously established DC film canon.
For starters, ComicBook.com notes that Intergang was first introduced in Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen #133 as a group that was outfitted with weapons by the New Gods, namely Darkseid, to aid in his quest to find the Anti-Life Equation. If that all sounds familiar, that’s because Darkseid and the Anti-Life Equation were big parts of the Justice League (the Snyder Cut, specifically). This could be our first signal that Snyder’s re-release of the film will have canonical implications for Dwayne Johnson’s first outing in a super suit.
That’s not all. Shahi revealed that her character’s name is Adrianna, which DC fans immediately connected to the character Adrianna Tomaz, better known as the superhero Isis as well as Black Adam’s wife. In the comic book, she is presented as a gift to Black Adam by, you guessed it, Intergang. However, the anti-hero that Dwayne Johnson is so eager to play simply dispatched the gang members and found her to be a positive influence on his otherwise murderous nature.
It’s too soon to say if Shahi will appear as Adrianna Tomaz or if that’s the direction her character will take in the film. Having said that, she’s likely not named “Adrianna” for nothing. Any changes to the story may just be cosmetic for the sake of not using the name Isis. As the FX series Archer learned in 2017, that name carries a less-than-desirable connotation to the real-world terrorist organization. However, it was the name of the Egyptian goddess the DC character is based on long before that, so it’s really anyone’s guess who Shahi’s character will be to Dwayne Johnson’s Black Adam.
However, given the fact that Shahi made a point to say how important Middle Eastern representation is to her while speaking with The Hollywood Reporter, it wouldn’t be surprising if she, Dwayne Johnson, and the producers decided to artfully tweak some things about her story to avoid any controversy.
Regardless, her inclusion, as well as Intergang’s in Dwayne Johnson’s Black Adam, opens the door for things like The New Gods as well as a bevy of other characters for Black Adam and, eventually Zachary Levi’s Shazam, to make their way to the screen for a battle. ComicBook.com also notes that it’s already been confirmed that Aldis Hodge will appear as Hawkman, Noah Centineo will appear as Atom Smasher, Quintessa Swindell will take on Cyclone and Pierce Brosnan will play Doctor Fate.
Meanwhile, Uli Latukefu, Marwan Kenzari, Mohammed Amer, James Cusati-Moyer, Bodhi Sabongui have also been cast in currently unknown roles. Could they perhaps be the super-secret DC characters that Dwayne Johson will help usher into the ever-expanding DC Extended Universe? Sadly, fans may just have to wait until Black Adam drops in 2022 to find out.