Leading up to the release of Black Adam, acting megastar Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson teased that "the hierarchy of the DC universe [was] about to change."
The film was also set to receive a sequel sometime down the line, and the movie's post-credits scene even featured the return of Henry Cavill's Superman before DC officially stated that there were no plans for the actor beyond his cameo.
At the end of its theatrical run, Black Adam was an unfortunate flop, and it wasn't even able to hit its profit goal of $520 million, resulting in the film losing money.
Henry Cavill's Involvement and Past Black Adam Sequel Plans
During Black Adam's development, Dwayne Johnson reportedly "demanded" that Henry Cavill be brought back as Superman.
Johnson even went as far as influencing Warner Bros. to sign Cavill to a new contract that would eventually lead to the creation of another film with Cavill back in full force.
It is unclear whether this new movie would have been Man of Steel 2 or Black Adam 2, but it is noteworthy that some sort of film featuring Cavill in a prominent role was in Johnson's vision.
In an interview with Variety, Johnson even stated that he and Black Adam's producers "fought for years to bring [him] back," and that it was all a part of "build[ing] out [their] DC Universe:"
"We fought for years to bring you back. They always said no. But for [producers] Dany Garcia, Hiram Garcia & myself ‘no’ was never an option. We can’t intelligently & strategically build out our DC Universe without the greatest superhero of all time. Because for us, the fans will always come first."
Black Adam producers Beau Flynn and Hiram Garcia even went on record to talk about when fans could expect a sequel to the 2022 film, with Garcia even teasing that it wouldn't "take too long:"
"It's not going to take that long. I can promise you that... we aways hope the first domino's the easy one... we'll get cooking on it fast, that's for sure."
Garcia also went on to say that they had plans to pull Superman into "the same world as Black Adam," and that everything would have been "much bigger than what people think:"
"Our vision is, what we really want to establish is Superman exists in the same world as Black Adam... both those guys exist in the same universe and that's important for us. It's in the universe where our JSA is and so forth. But we really wanted the world to know that these guys are going to cross paths and how we do it, we're still working on it. We don't want to give that away. But I will say that it's much bigger than what people think."
Dwayne Johnson's Plan for Henry Cavill
Reports in November 2022 stated that the script for a Black Adam sequel with Cavill was already completed and that the film could have potentially started filming as early as February 2023.
Johnson even teased what fans could expect in that sequel in an interview, going as far as to reveal that he and Cavill would "go toe-to-toe" as Black Adam and Superman:
"So when all that does go down… um because look at the end of the day… you have to be clear. You have the most powerful force in the universe and his name is Superman. No one will ever be able to match that and then you also have a very disruptive force, who can go toe-to-toe with Superman."
The Black Adam star went on to talk more about what was planned for the sequel, saying that it would feature the two main characters seeing eye-to-eye on some things, but also disagreeing at other times:
"And there are a lot of things that they’re going to agree on and even more interesting down the road in our storytelling, there’s a lot of things that they’re not going to agree on, so that’s gonna… I see that eyebrow raise, you’re like, ‘Oh!’ You know it’s coming. So that’s all going to come down the road."
Johnson continued to speak as though his plans for Black Adam 2 were already in the works, even teasing that he and Cavill would be training together:
"And when that time comes then I’m sure, to bring it all the way back to your great question, myself and Henry Cavill, I’m sure we’ll get after it in the gym and as you said we will in fact break the internet."
To further stir the pot that Black Adam was really going to cause a course correction for the DCEU, it was reported in August 2022 that multiple spin-offs were in the works that would feature characters from Black Adam.
One such spin-off was set to feature Aldis Hodge's Hawkman in a lead role and be centered around that character, and it was even reported in December 2022 that more details would emerge once James Gunn and Peter Safran fully took over as Co-CEOs of DC Studios.
However, when Gunn and Safran revealed their plans for their upcoming DC Universe, those plans fell through and everything Johnson teased was seemingly scrapped.
In January 2023, Johnson released an official statement via Twitter talking about failures, which essentially confirmed that all of his plans regarding Black Adam were now shelved.
This announcement, along with the fully-fleshed out Chapter 1 slate of Gunn and Safran's DCU, Black Adam's poor performance at the box office, and behind-the-scenes drama, essentially shut down Johnson's future plans for good.
Will Dwayne Johnson Ever Return as Black Adam?
Considering all of the previously-mentioned facts, statements, and reports, it is safe to say that Dwayne Johnson's time as Black Adam is likely over.
The actor gave it his all in an attempt to continue the DCEU for years to come, and tried to please a great number of fans by bringing back Henry Cavill, but as he said in his statement video, sometimes things just don't work out.
In the future, it seems as though DC Studios is taking a full-steam-ahead approach to James Gunn and Peter Safran's universe.
Gunn is currently working on Superman: Legacy and has expressed great excitement for how it will kick off the new DCU, and the film even recently cast its two leads - David Corenswet and Rachel Brosnahan.
As for Johnson, his time in the franchise may be over, but fans will definitely see him in other roles across the entertainment industry as he continues to build his acting resume.