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Black Adam Producer Explains Why Dwayne Johnson's Character Should Be A 'Monster'

Fans of the DC Extended Universe got their first look at the upcoming film "Black Adam" during 2021's DC FanDome, and while those unfamiliar with the character might have been expecting yet another superhero tale, they learned they should brace themselves for an anti-hero story instead. The animated teaser trailer saw Black Adam, played by Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, not just kill, but violently disintegrate a man using his powers of electrocution. The scene made it clear that while Black Adam and Shazam's superpowers come from the same source, as evidenced by the lightning bolt emblem on their chests, Johnson's character is much darker, more serious, and more villainous than Zachary Levi's hero was in 2019's "Shazam!"

The teaser trailer for "Black Adam" reveals the character gained his powers in the ancient city of Kahndaq, where he was a slave. While he was gifted with magical abilities to help others, Black Adam instead appointed himself ruler of the nation before being imprisoned. While few details are known about the plot of "Black Adam," it's still unclear whether the character will be redeemed or made a full villain. However, recent comments by the film's producer, Hiram Garcia, seem to shed light on the topic.

Black Adam will be "a monster"

Producer Hiram Garcia told ComicBook.com the footage revealed during DC FanDome was meant to convey that the filmmakers "weren't messing around, and that we weren't making a soft Black Adam." He added that the tone of the movie is very different from "Shazam!" In the comic books, Black Adam began as a hero who eventually became corrupted by his powers. He was gifted his powers by the wizard Shazam thousands of years before Billy Batson was chosen to be a champion of humanity, and Black Adam is often portrayed as one of Shazam's biggest archenemies, according to DC Comics

Garcia told ComicBook.com the filmmakers are aware DCEU fans expect to be shown a villain. "Look, we know what you guys want," he said. "We know what this character is supposed to be. We're going to do our best to make sure that we honor that and turn him into a monster."

"Black Adam" releases in theaters on July 29, 2022.