Dwayne Johnson explained how Black Adam became a labor of love alongside director Jaume Collet-Serra.
After the memorable panel, BuzzFeed caught up with Dwayne Johnson, who discussed what it was like working on Black Adam and the excitement that went into sharing the first footage at Comic-Con 2022.
Black Adam follows Teth-Adam/Black Adam, who was killed years before our time but is suddenly awoken in the present day by a group of explorers. Black Adam was granted the powers of Shazam, but unlike Billy Batson, he’s chosen to use his powers a little differently and ultimately becomes the archenemy of Shazam.
Speaking about the long “10-year” process that has gone into bringing the character of Black Adam to the big screen, Dwayne said he owes a lot to director Jaume Collet-Serra, who he also worked with on Jungle Cruise.
“We worked together on Jungle Cruise, we had a great experience,” Dwayne said. “I love working with Jaume. He comes from an incredible background of Spanish filmmaking. He really does a good job.”
“You know, as actors, once we wrap a movie, we get to go onto the next, but the director doesn’t go, a director stays and works even more. With COVID, he’s been on this for five years. Five years of his life. Then, years before that, Jaume was with Jungle Cruise, so I have been in this man’s life forever. I’m like one of his children.”
Dwayne went on to praise Jaume’s “vision” for Black Adam and said that it was amazing to watch his passion for the film come to fruition after they screened the entire film for the first time a few days ago.
“I want to give Jaume as much credit as I possibly can around every corner,” Dwayne said. “You know, it’s my name in the headlines, it’s above the title, it’s very forward facing. Headlines come my way, but at the end of the day, this doesn’t happen…that kind of movie, that tone, that sentiment, direction, passion, and heart, the mana [magical power] that you see in that movie, and the intensity, doesn’t happen without him.”
Aside from working with Jaume Collet-Serra, Dwayne also detailed how amazing it was to work with this incredible cast, which includes Aldis Hodge, Noah Centineo, Sarah Shahi, Quintessa Swindell, Marwan Kenzari, and Pierce Brosnan.
“I’m so proud of this cast,” Dwayne told BuzzFeed. “They all came to the table wanting to create a great movie. They were all so committed. There was also a feeling from everyone across the board, especially the cast, that exposing the Justice Society to the world was special. It was the first time, there are no other actors on the big screen before them. So they all came to the table knowing that they were going to create something really cool and special.”
Specifically, Dwayne highlighted Quintessa Swindell, who plays Cyclone in Black Adam, and how special it was to see them get emotional while viewing footage at Comic-Con in Hall H.
“With Quintessa, they had never been [at Comic-Con] before and that’s why they got emotional. I told them backstage, ‘That was a beautiful moment.’ Quintessa will remember that forever.”
Dwayne said that screening the footage at Comic-Con 2022 was something he’ll also never forget, saying, “It was — excuse my language — fucking awesome. I had been to Comic-Con before, many times in the past, but nothing compared to what I just felt and what I just experienced. The energy and the love and the reaction from those people. That was incredible. It’s worth the effort. Worth the blood, the sweat, the grind, worth it all.”
“I’ve seen Black Adam with a very small intimate audience. A testing audience, but 6,000 strong, on that big-ass screen, with that kind of base and everybody screaming…it was incredible. I hugged my director so hard I think I broke one of his ribs. I was like, ‘Look what you did! Look at this!'”
Before the sneak peek for Black Adam was shown to the crowd in Hall H, Dwayne entered the room in his full Black Adam costume, which made the moment even more special.
“I’m getting goosebumps thinking about it now,” Dwayne recounted to BuzzFeed moments after the panel ended. “I’ve put that suit on so many times. But then, you take it off and you have a drink, a shot of tequila, and you say, ‘Okay, thank you for the memories.’ While you’re thinking, ‘I don’t know when I’m gonna put this on again.'”
“And someone, I just put it on again back there to step out [in Hall H]. When you’re stepping out into a crowd, who has no idea about what’s going on or what’s coming, in that outfit, as a superhero, it’s hard to not get emotional.”
You’ll be able to catch Dwayne Johnson in all his superhero glory when Black Adam hits theaters on Oct. 21, 2022.