Is Black Adam DC or Marvel? How Is Black Adam Related to Shazam? Black Adam is a 2022 American superhero film based on the DC character of the same name. Produced by New Line Cinema, DC Films, Seven Bucks Productions, and FlynnPictureCo. and distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, it is a spin-off to Shazam! (2019) and the 11th film in the DC Extended Universe (DCEU).
The film was directed by Jaume Collet-Serra and written by Adam Sztykiel and the writing team of Rory Haines and Sohrab Noshirvani. It stars Dwayne Johnson as Teth-Adam / Black Adam, an ancient superhuman who is released from his magic imprisonment by a group of archeologists to free the nation of Kahndaq from the crime syndicate Intergang, whose local leader plans to obtain an ancient relic called the Crown of Sabbac to take control of the nation. Aldis Hodge, Noah Centineo, Sarah Shahi, Marwan Kenzari, Quintessa Swindell, and Pierce Brosnan appear in supporting roles.
Johnson was attached to Shazam! early in development and confirmed to portray the villain Black Adam in September 2014, but the producers, at Johnson’s urging, later decided to give the character his own film. Sztykiel was hired in October 2017. Collet-Serra joined in June 2019 with a planned release date of December 2021, but this timeline was delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Additional casting took place over the next year, including four members of the Justice Society of America, along with the script being rewritten by Haines and Noshirvani. Principal photography took place from April to August 2021 at Trilith Studios in Atlanta, Georgia, and also in Los Angeles.
Is Black Adam DC or Marvel?
Black Adam is part of the DC Universe. He made his debut in DC Comics back in 1945 and is something of an adversary to Shazam. He is also considered one of DC’s most powerful characters.
The film is also part of the DCEU, sharing continuity with previous films such as Man of Steel, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Wonder Woman (and its sequel), Aquaman and, of course, Shazam (for a full list of DCEU movies click here).
Dwyane Johnson has been very vocal about his hopes that this film could change the hierarchy of DC on film, with fans hoping that it will revive the universe that has been in need of a revamp since it began.
Black Adam arrives in movie theaters on Friday, October 21, 2022.
How Is Black Adam Related to Shazam?
As Black Adam explains, Teth-Adam received his power from the same council of wizards. In DC Comics, he was chosen by the wizard Shazam, who chose Billy Batson to be his champion 5,000 years later. Unlike Billy, Teth-Adam drew his powers from Egyptian gods: Shu, Heru, Amon, Zehuti, Aton and Mehen. However, Shazam’s power came from other mythical heroes: Solomon, Hercules, Atlas, Zeus, Achilles and Mercury.
The comics initially saw Teth-Adam being corrupted by his power and becoming a supervillain. In the film, Teth-Adam wasn’t Shazam’s chosen champion; instead, his son was chosen and later transferred the power to Teth-Adam to protect him. Teth-Adam then avenged his family’s death and was imprisoned for 5,000 years. Unlike Billy Batson’s Shazam, Black Adam is a lot more brutal and violent. Though they share the same symbol and similar costumes and even have identical superpowers, they are not the same.
Is a Black Adam/Shazam Crossover Happening in the DCU?
The answer is probably not — unless a social media battle off-screen counts. Black Adam actor Dwayne Johnson confirmed that the crossover between his godly antihero and Shazam is “gonna happen,” but they had to establish each superhero’s origin story first properly. Previously, Johnson revealed that the original script of Black Adam initially “had both [Black Adam and Shazam] establishing their origin stories in one film.” The actor had to fight hard for the two characters to “have their own stand-alone films.”
However, since the release of Shazam! Fury of the Gods, a Shazam and Black Adam meet-up feels more like a pipe dream. Johnson reportedly fought to eliminate the connection between Shazam and Black Adam by shutting down a post-credits scene in Black Adam that showed the film’s Justice Society attempting to recruit Billy Batson/Shazam.
What’s more is that Shazam! Fury of the Gods makes no reference or connection to Black Adam, Shazam actor Zachary Levi’s DCU future is up in the air and a Black Adam sequel might not happen. The likelihood of a Shazam versus Black Adam showdown is low at this point — but still not impossible.
Will Black Adam Ever Face Shazam On-Screen?
In the comics, the two godly superbeings of the same origin have crossed paths many times. Black Adam went toe-to-toe with the Shazam family, challenging them over their shared power source. Billy was still a child learning about his superpower. Black Adam, on the other hand, was an ancient being.
Shazam! Fury of the Gods director David F. Sandberg had previously confirmed that the confrontation between Black Adam and Shazam wouldn’t be in the second Shazam installment since Johnson got his own standalone film to set the tone for Black Adam, and Shazam! 2 would do the same. However, it would be possible to see it happening in Shazam 3, if it’s part of James Gunn’s plan for the future of DCU.
The MCU’s Best Trick Is Making Comic Heroes Household Names
Given how big names like Iron Man and other Avengers have become, it may be easy to forget that they were not among Marvel’s most recognizable characters until a decade ago. Before Iron Man, audiences had already seen films starring Blade, Spider-Man, the X-Men, Wolverine, Daredevil, and the Fantastic Four, all of which had already become part of pop culture’s superhero conversation.
Though comic book readers knew many other Marvel characters, Marvel had become synonymous with Spider-Man, X-Men, and Fantastic Four for the general audiences. On top of this, Marvel had sold the movie rights to some of its most famous characters, which is why Marvel Studios’ cinematic success was so surprising.
Spider-Man, the X-Men, and the Fantastic Four were already pop culture titans before their MCU debuts, and the same cannot be said about most of Marvel’s Phase 1 superheroes. Apart from the Hulk, none of the original Avengers had ever even appeared in a theatrical movie before the MCU.
Animated series and other projects featuring names like Iron Man and Thor were also rare, meaning that the MCU had to build their characters from scratch. If solo movies such as Iron Man and Captain America: The First Avenger hadn’t worked as well as they did, then The Avengers and the MCU as a whole would probably not have succeeded.
Even after The Avengers changed Marvel’s hierarchy and made the MCU characters as big as the X-Men or the Fantastic Four, the franchise continued to bet on lesser-known comic book characters to develop its universe. For example, even some comic book readers were not very familiar with the Guardians of the Galaxy, yet the unusual superhero team received a movie as early as Marvel’s Phase 2.
Guardians of the Galaxy, a movie featuring an talking tree who was friends with a genetically enhanced raccoon, grossed $773 million at the box office and proved that the MCU could make any character into a movie icon.
Not many people believed that there could be a Marvel Cinematic Universe without Spider-Man, the X-Men, and the Fantastic Four, a perception that the Infinity Saga proved wrong very quickly. By the time Spider-Man joined the MCU in Captain America: Civil War, the franchise had already become bigger and more successful than the Spider-Man, X-Men, or Fantastic Four series that preceded it.
Still, the MCU never limited itself to Iron Man, Captain America, and the rest of the Phase 1 Avengers. For example, Ant-Man, who in the MCU was not even the most famous version of the character, easily became an audience favorite, especially after Avengers: Endgame.
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