Shazam! And Black Adam Were Both Torpedoed By Dwayne Johnson (And His Ego), According To New Report
The Rock may be a big fan of building things “step by step,” but according to The Wrap he also undermined “Shazam! Fury of the Gods” in a similarly systematic way. James Gunn is set to kick off his vision for the DC Universe in 2025 by directing his “Superman: Legacy” film, but in the meantime, Warner Bros. and DC are having to churn through the remaining vestiges of the Snyderverse. The latest example to hit theaters is director David F. Sandberg’s “Shazam!” sequel, which debuted with a $30.5 million opening weekend and such disappointing box office numbers that it probably killed the franchise.
There are a lot of explanations for the film’s poor financial performance. General superhero movie fatigue appears to be setting in hard across the board, while DC Studios co-heads Gunn and Peter Safran’s planned soft reboot has everyone generally confused about where these movies are going. “Shazam! Fury of the Gods” also garnered some pretty lackluster reviews, even while its audience score remained high.
But it seems there was another problem plaguing the Zachary Levi-starring sequel. And that problem was, according to The Wrap’s report, Dwayne Johnson. It’s well known that Johnson was pushing to reorganize DC’s on-screen universe around, well, himself. “Black Adam” was his passion project, which he relentlessly promised would see “the hierarchy of power in the DC Universe” change. And as the film came together, he seemingly believed in his project so much that he started playing the role of studio exec, going over the head of then president of DC Films Walter Hamada to secure a Henry Cavill Superman cameo. And in the process, Johnson may well have undermined not just his future at DC, but the “Shazam!” franchise, too.