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Why Superman Was Originally Headless In Black Adam

Warning: This article contains spoilers for "Black Adam."

Fans of the DC Extended Universe have officially been introduced to the on-screen origin story of the anti-hero "Black Adam." While the movie has plenty of action-packed moments and nods to other DCEU films, there is one big reason why moviegoers should stick around for the mid-credits scene.

The highly-anticipated film tells the story of a child named Hurut (Jalon Christian) who is enslaved in ancient Kahndaq and rallies to overthrow the country's oppressive ruler Anh-Kot. His efforts lead him to the council of wizards first introduced in "Shazam." Like Billy Batson, Hurut is granted his powers by the council. Fast forward 5,000 years and Black Adam (Dwayne Johnson), who is known for most of the film as Teth-Adam, is reawakened by Adrianna Tomaz (Sarah Shahi) when her team is ambushed by Intergang, a military force that has taken control of Kahndaq. 

But this Teth-Adam is not the hero she's heard about, and she discovers that the current Teth-Adam is actually Hurut's father, who Hurut gave his powers to right before his sudden death. She quickly learns about his anti-hero ways when he kills many of his foes during the Intergang attack. Adrianna and her son Amon (Bodhi Sabongui) work to teach him how to seek justice without killing others. While the film is filled with big guest appearances, there's one surprise cameo (well, surprise if you didn't follow The Rock's press tour) that has a very unique origin story.

The big mid-credits scene came together with some movie magic

The film is a treat for DC fans who have eagerly awaited the big-screen arrival of Black Adam, Hawkman (Aldis Hodge), Dr. Fate (Pierce Brosnan), Cyclone (Quintessa Swindell), and Atom Smasher (Noah Centineo). But there is one big name that many fans did not see coming back in this particular film. Henry Cavill makes a triumphant return as Superman in the mid-credits scene of "Black Adam." While it's a big moment for the DCEU, the scene and Cavill didn't come into the picture until production was well underway.

During The Hollywood Reporter's "Behind the Screen" podcast, "Black Adam" cinematographer Lawrence Sher said Cavill was not always attached to the film due to tough negotiations behind the scenes. But that didn't stop them from making the most of their last day of filming additional photography. Sher said that director Jaume Collet-Serra quickly filmed Dwayne Johnson's portion of the scene using a throne room set that was already set up. A body double filled in for Cavill, making sure to showcase that iconic Superman logo without revealing the actor's face. The scene without Cavill was included in test screenings, and the audience's reaction helped Sher realize they were on the right track. "I went to a test screening...in which they did the version without his head...and it played gangbusters. Then it was like, 'Now we got to get Henry,'" he said.

The possibilities for Cavill and Superman in the DCEU's future

While the final cut of the scene with Henry Cavill definitely pays off, it was an uphill climb to get the current Man of Steel in "Black Adam." Dwayne Johnson reportedly pushed for Cavill to join the film, even going to the leaders of Warner Bros. film after former DC Films president Walter Hamada rejected the idea. The conversation between Johnson, Michael De Luca, and Pamela Abdy ultimately gave them the green light to add Cavill. 

Producer Hiram Garcia told The Wrap that he, Johnson, and Cavill's manager Dany Garcia worked very hard to make that onscreen moment a reality. "It was just relentless, I'm sure borderline extremely annoying for some of our partners, but we knew what the fans wanted, we knew what we wanted, and we would just not stop because we really wanted to deliver what we felt the whole world wanted, and what we felt was the proper moment for the character of Black Adam arriving in the DC universe," he said.

Cavill's cameo may be just the beginning of bringing Superman and Cavill back into the DC fold. In a recent interview with CinemaBlend, Johnson said the return of Superman is the whole point of "Black Adam." While Hiram Garcia cannot yet confirm whether or not Cavill has signed on for more movies in the DCEU, he does note that Cavill wanted to come back for "Black Adam," adding that there may be some potential projects in the works.