What do the next ten years of the DCU look like? It's one of the biggest questions in Hollywood these days. And, since Warner Bros. Discovery's new leadership have yet to reveal the details of their ten-year plan, it may be a mystery to them as well. The one person who appears to have an idea is Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, the executive producer and star of the upcoming DC film, Black Adam.
So far, timing has been Black Adam's greatest foe. For years, the Dwayne Johnson-led film was caught in pre-production purgatory; and once the film was finally in a position to release, the Warner Bros. Discovery merger threw the fate of the existing convoluted DCEU into question.
Through it all, Johnson has only continued to repeat that Black Adam will disrupt the hierarchy of the DC Universe and has even teased the start of a "new era."
But whether the actor is referring to a new universe or the one that's already on its way out, remains to be seen; and now, leading up to this supposedly pivotal film, he's also teasing plans for spin-offs.
Dwayne Johnson Reveals Black Adam Spin-offs Plans
In talking with Total Film, Dwayne Johnson claimed that Black Adam's "goal is to really expand the universe" and that "we're already thinking ahead" in regards to planning spin-off films for certain Black Adam characters:
“The goal is to really expand the universe, and introduce new characters, and spin-off, and be really strategic about the plan. We have a few ideas of what characters people are really going to respond to in Black Adam, and so we’re already thinking ahead to: ’Let’s start thinking about that movie, and what that movie looks like for them.’"
In addition to Johnson as the film's titular anti-hero, Black Adam will also feature the Justice Society of America, which includes Doctor Fate played by Pierce Brosnan, Noah Centineo as Atom Smasher, Aldis Hodge as Hawkman, and Cyclone played by Quintessa Swindell.
Black Adam producer Hiram Garcia echoed Johnson's comments, saying, "we want to be able to build out the universe as big as we can" and even teased potential "crossovers:"
“I think our ambition has always been that this is all a shared universe, you know? While [Black Adam and Shazam] may not be crossing paths, everything exists in a big umbrella of the DC universe. And we want to be able to build out the universe as big as we can, and, you know, with those ambitions. If everything’s received the way we hope it will be, we have opportunities to potentially see crossovers in certain points.”
Believe it or not, Johnson's ambitions don't stop with the DCU. The actor has also shared his hopes for a Marvel and DC crossover in the future, explaining that "they should, in my mind, cross paths one day."
Who Knows What The Rock is Cooking for the DCU?
The fact that Johnson and his team have a plan is something the DCU has been missing for a long time, and it's refreshing to hear that someone who's involved creatively is also calling the shots and is clearly confident in their vision.
The problem is that fans don't know whether to take this seriously.
Again, neither Johnson nor the studio has confirmed which universe Black Adam takes place in or if the franchise has a place in CEO David Zaslav's vision for the DCU moving forward.
Still, Johnson's confidence in not only the film but his supporting cast's potential for leading roles is reassuring. It suggests that there's more than one reason to catch this long-awaited superhero flick. And, just maybe, Warner Bros. Discovery is waiting to see if they live up to the actor's hype and if this film could serve as the launch point for a new planned universe?
In the meantime, the question remains as to whether Black Adam will, in fact, be the one to disrupt the DCEU, or if CEO David Zaslav already beat him to the punch.
Black Adam arrives in theaters worldwide on October 21.