Dwayne Johnson took a moment on the Oscars red carpet to reflect on the DC Universe overhaul that has put a pivot in his plans for a Black Adam-Superman crossover movie. VarietyMarc Malkin, senior editor of culture and events, met with Johnson and asked if Cavill’s Superman was dropped from the DC Universe despite his much-hyped return in Johnson’s “Black Adam.”
“All I could do, and all we could do when we were making ‘Black Adam,’ was do our best and surround ourselves with the best people and make the best movie possible,” Johnson said. “Our audience score was in the 90s. The critics have taken a few knocks, but that’s just the problem.
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“It’s almost like when you have a pro football team and your quarterback wins championships and your coach wins championships and then a new owner comes along and says, ‘Not my coach, not my quarterback. I’m going with someone new.’”
Johnson is obviously referring to new DC Studios heads James Gunn and Peter Safran, who were announced as the new architects of the DC Universe just days after “Black Adam” hit theaters last October. In bringing Cavill’s Superman back to life for an appearance in a post-credits scene, Johnson was laying the groundwork for his own DC universe where Black Adam and Superman’s relationship would be mapped across multiple films. “Black Adam’s” tepid box office (it didn’t even hit the $400 million mark worldwide) and the hiring of Gunn and Safran effectively killed Johnson’s plan.
“James Gunn and I have connected, and Black Adam will not be in their first chapter of the narrative,” Johnson told fans last December. “However, DC and Seven Bucks have agreed to continue exploring the most valuable ways Black Adam can be used in future chapters of the DC multiverse.”
Johnson added, “After 15 years of relentless hard work to finally make ‘Black Adam,’ I am very proud of the film we have delivered to fans around the world. I will always look back on the fan reaction to ‘Black Adam’ with tremendous gratitude, humility and love.”
Following the opening weekend of “Black Adam,” Henry Cavill publicly announced his return as Superman on social media. Two months later, Gunn announced that Cavill actually wouldn’t be Superman in the new DC Universe as he was writing a new Man of Steel film centered around a younger iteration of the superhero. That film, ‘Superman: Legacy’ is slated for a 2025 release date. Gunn and Safran are also developing ‘Supergirl: World of Tomorrow’ and a Batman and Robin film, ‘The Brave and the Bold’, as part of the new DC Universe.
Before “Black Adam” hit theaters, Johnson and his producing partner Hiram Garcia held several press interviews touting Johnson’s Black Adam and Cavill’s Superman battling it out on the big screen.
“We really want to create a long form of storytelling and show that these two characters exist in the same universe and will have to confront each other often, both on the same side and opposite sides,” Garcia told CinemaBlend. “Hopefully at some point they will clash, but it’s not just a ‘one-on-one’ situation. It has never been our dream. This does not reward the fans. Fans want to feel a journey between these kids knowing these kids exist in the same universe.
Watch Johnson’s full Oscars red carpet interview in the video below.
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