DC Studios - under the leadership of Gunn and Peter Safran - is currently puzzling together its plans to restart the DCU, and part of that process involves cleaning house from the old guard. That has already become apparent with news that Henry Cavill's Superman will be recast, leaving fans wondering who is next to go.
Perhaps the character in the toughest position is Johnson's Black Adam, who just debuted a month before Gunn took over. Black Adam was supposed to kickstart a new era for the franchise and change the hierarchy of power in the DC universe, but that all fell apart after mediocre reactions and disappointing box office results.
Prior to Gunn's DC takeover, The Rock and his Seven Bucks production company were already making plans for sequels and spin-offs to Black Adam, which has left fans wondering where the character stands now. Well, Johnson has delivered an update on that, and much like Cavill's recent statement, it isn't good news.
Dwayne Johnson's Black Adam Future Receives Disappointing Update
Dwayne Johnson issued a statement on Twitter that offers an update on the situation surrounding Black Adam in the DC Universe following James Gunn and Peter Safran's takeover and the emergence of their apparent reboot plans.
The Rock confirmed Teth-Adam "will not be in their first chapter of storytelling." Although DC and Seven Bucks will still continue to consider how the anti-hero can be "utilized in future DC multiverse chapters:"
"My passionate friends,
I wanted to give you a long-awaited Black Adam update regarding the character's future in the new DC Universe.
James Gunn and I connected, and Black Adam will not be in their first chapter of storytelling. However, DC and Seven Bucks have agreed to continue exploring the most valuable ways Black Adam can be utilized in future DC multiverse chapters.
James and I have known each other for years and have always rooted for each other to succeed. It's no different now, and I will always root for DC (and Marvel) to win and WIN BIG.
You guys know me, and I have very thick skin – and you can always count on me to be direct with my words."
The Black Adam star added how the decision from Gunn and DC "represent their vision of [the] DCU through their creative lens," before adding his pride in the movie they created after many years of work:
"These decisions made by James and DC leadership represent their vision of DCU through their creative lens.
After 15 years of relentless hard work to finally make 'Black Adam', I'm very proud of the film we delivered for fans worldwide. I will always look back on the fan reaction to Black Adam with tremendous gratitude, humility and love.
We did great.
To my very passionate and vocal Black Adam/Super Hero genre fans - I love you, THANK YOU, and I will ALWAYS LISTEN TO YOU and do my best to deliver and entertain you.
What a helluva month - now we all need some Teremana!
Have a productive week and HAPPY HOLIDAYS to you and your families!"
DC Studios CEO James Gunn reacted to Johnson's statement, sharing his excitement to see his next work and "collaborate soon:"
"Love @TheRock & I'm always excited to see what he & Seven Bucks do next. Can't wait to collaborate soon."
Black Adam Reboot Reaffirms DC Reboot Speculation
After having spent 15 years fighting to bring Black Adam to life, Dwayne Johnson will undoubtedly be disappointed to have that tenure cut short already. However, after the disappointing critical and financial results of Black Adam, the future of the character was going to be in question with or without the DC regime change.
The Rock's confirmation that, at least during the first batch of projects, he will not be returning as the character under James Gunn only reaffirms speculation that the franchise is heading toward a reboot. Although he was clear that the door remains open to more appearances, making specific mention of the Multiverse.
This seems to indicate that if Black Adam were to come back down the line, the existing DCEU iteration of the character would be making the jump to the new universe via the Multiverse, potentially in a Crisis-type event. Although when exactly that will come to pass is a much tougher question.
Gunn did specifically note his excitement to "collaborate soon," while The Rock confirmed Black Adam will not be part of this first chapter of storytelling. So perhaps Johnson and Seven Bucks could be getting involved in other projects in a producing capacity, while Black Adam remains on the sidelines.
Even though DC is rebooting and Black Adam is getting left behind in the old universe, for now, that doesn't mean his tenure as the character is over. Aside from Multiversal crossovers, when Gunn inevitably wants to bring the anti-hero into his new universe down the line, The Rock could play thaat world's version of him too.
Black Adam is streaming now on HBO Max.