The Justice Society of America made their live-action debut in Black Adam, with Noah Centineo's Atom Smasher and Quintessa Swindell's Cyclone being introduced alongside the likes of the ill-fated Doctor Fate and mysterious team leader Hawkman. However, these appearances were somewhat outshined by the (not-so-surprise) appearance of one Henry Cavill, returning to the role of Superman in a big way.
While Cavill's appearance was clearly a tease at things to come, it also indicated a possible shift in direction for future DC projects. If Black Adam is indeed teeing up some sort of conflict between the man in black and the man of steel, there may not be much room for the continued exploits of the Justice Society.
However, this recent news about Centineo's future return as Smasher may change that calculus, indicating that the world isn't quite done with the Justice Society.
Atom Smasher's Future in the DCEU
Taking to Instagram to share some behind-the-scenes content, Black Adam producer Hiram Garcia posted a set of pictures from the camera test stage of the film, each still highlighting a different member of the Justice Society.
Included in this series of posts were images of Aldis Hodge's Hawkman, Quintessa Swindell's Cyclone, and Noah Centineo's Atom Smasher. However, only one of these posts included a seemingly significant comment teasing the respective hero's future on-screen.
In his post showcasing an early look at Atom Smasher, Garcia shared his excitement at the future, noting that he "Can’t wait for you guys to see where we take this character!," a comment that would seem to confirm that there's a plan in place for Centineo's future in the DCU as Atom Smasher.
Will the Justice Society Appear in Black Adam 2?
Although Garcia's comments on the future of the team were limited to Centineo's Atom Smasher, it makes good sense that the character wouldn't return alone. After all, pretty much everything we know about the character, including all of his relationships, are rooted in his time in the Justice Society.
Either way, the natural next question would seem to be just where Atom Smasher may appear next. While there are all manner of unconfirmed projects that could star Centineo's Smasher, including potential Black Adam spinoffs and a rumored The Suicide Squad sequel (threequel?), the safest bet is likely the already developing Black Adam 2.
According to producers on the first film, the sequel is moving rapidly, with Garcia himself promising that "it's not going to take that long." The Rock shared this optimism, claiming that they could "roll into shooting this thing in like four months." If these comments are to be believed, fans may have a better sense of Centineo's future sooner rather than later.
Even as Garcia's post seems like a clear indication of DC's intention to bring Centineo back to the fold, sparking a whole host of exciting possibilities, it's always possible that this doesn't end up being the case. On one hand, Garcia may just be speaking more optimistically, speaking to plans not entirely shared by the studio.
Additionally, even if DC is currently set on Atom Smasher's return, these plans may change. The DCEU is still at a fairly shaky point, with the cancellation of Batgirl not too far in the rear-view mirror and a recent executive shake-up begging even more questions.
Although the future of the DCEU is still nothing if not uncertain, Garcia's post looks to be good news for fans of Centineo and, more generally, the Black Adam corner of the franchise. For more on the future of these characters, fans will just have to wait and see.