The following post contains minor spoilers for Shazam! Fury of the Gods.
There are now three movies starring Shazam and Black Adam, and the two characters have interacted onscreen a sum total of zero times. Any longtime DC Comics reader will tell you: That does not really make much sense.
Black Adam was created as a Shazam (or really Captain Marvel) antagonist, and for most of his history, that’s primarily what he was. It’s only in the last decade or two that the character’s role in the DC universe has expanded, becoming a part of the Justice Society library of characters, and playing more of an antihero role in various DC storylines.
The original plan for Shazam! was to have Black Adam as the villain of that movie, but at a certain point after Dwayne Johnson was cast as Black Adam the decision was made to split him off into his own film. Then Black Adam arrive in theaters last fall, and Shazam never showed up in it anywhere, even in a cameo role. And vice versa is true of the new Shazam! Fury of the Gods.
According to a new report in TheWrap, some of the blame belongs to Dwayne Johnson himself; they claim that there was a plan in place for Shazam to appear in a cameo in the Black Adam post-credits scene, which would have seen “Shazam recruited by Aldis Hodge’s Hawkman, and other costumed heroes, into the Justice Society of America.” Instead, Johnson had that idea nixed so that he could bring in Henry Cavill to reprise his role as Superman, and set up a potential Black Adam versus Superman movie down the line.
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There is a post-credits scene at the end of Fury of the Gods where Shazam is recruited into the Justice Society, but rather than feature Hawkman or other members of the Justice Society, it stars actors from the Peacemaker TV series.
TheWrap claims Johnson’s moves behind the scenes “kneecapped” Shazam!, but even if all of their reporting is 100 percent accurate, Fury of the Gods has much bigger problems beyond the lack of a Dwayne Johnson cameo. Maybe a Shazam appearance in Black Adam might have whetted the audience’s appetite for his own movie. But unless Black Adam was going to show up there as well, what would have been the point? Heck, Fury of the Gods featured a Wonder Woman cameo that the movie advertised in its TV ads, and it didn’t help its box office one bit. (Shazam! star Zachary Levi tweeted that the biggest problem is the movie’s marketing has not conveyed that it’s a great choice for families don’t realize it’s a great family film, although that is debatable.) It seems more accurate to say that there’s a lot of blame to spread around for the current state of DC’s movies.
DC Comics That Can’t Become DC Movies
These popular DC Comics titles can never get their own DC movies. (Sorry.)