Dwayne Johnson “vetoed” Shazam cameo in Black Adam

Cameron Frew
Dwayne Johnson as Black Adam and a still from Shazam 2

Dwayne Johnson reportedly nixed plans for a Shazam cameo in Black Adam in a bid to place himself at the center of the franchise.

While Black Adam spent more than a decade in development, Johnson constantly reiterated one promise throughout the movie’s promotional run: with his introduction, the hierarchy of power in the DC universe was going to change.

It’s a proclamation that’s aged like milk. The writing was clearly on the wall ahead of the movie’s release, as The Rock pivoted from talking about the movie to hailing the comeback of Henry Cavill’s Superman, while desperately whetting the audience’s appetite for a fight between the two – something there isn’t much precedent for, given his nemesis in the comics is Shazam.

While landing an 88% audience score – let’s be real, it’s not a reliable figure – it went down like an action-packed fart with critics and failed to make a splash at the box office.

Dwayne Johnson said no to Shazam cameo in Black Adam

According to a new report from The Wrap, Johnson vetoed plans for Zachary Levi’s Shazam to appear in the post-credits scene of Black Adam.

It “would have seen Shazam recruited by Aldis Hodge’s Hawkman, and other costumed heroes, into the Justice Society of America,” the outlet reported.

If you’ve seen Shazam 2, this will sound familiar. That’s because the sequel’s post-credits scene is a rehashed version of the same idea, albeit with Peacemaker’s Jennifer Holland and Steve Agee – because Johnson reportedly didn’t want any crossover with Black Adam.

“By alienating the established property that his character was born out of, and refusing to integrate with other established characters, [Johnson] systematically crippled two franchises, and has harmed DC in the process,” an insider told the publication.

In an earlier interview with Vanity Fair, Johnson explained how under original plans, Black Adam would have first appeared in the 2019 film alongside Levi, a notion he quickly nixed.

“When the first draft of the movie came to us, it was a combination of Black Adam and Shazam: two origin stories in one movie. Now that was the goal – so it wasn’t a complete surprise.

“But when I read that, I just knew in my gut, ‘We can’t make this movie like this. We would be doing Black Adam an incredible disservice.’ It would’ve been fine for Shazam having two origin stories converge in one movie, but not good for Black Adam.”

The Rock was also reportedly offered a cameo in Shazam 2 – surprise surprise, he said no to that, too. With The Flash speedily approaching and James Gunn’s rebooted DCU on the horizon, it appears the hierarchy of power has changed – just not for Johnson.

In the meantime, check out the rest of our Shazam coverage below:

Shazam 2 Review | Zachary Levi interview | Easter Eggs | Daughters of Atlas explained | Post-credits scene | Does Wonder Woman appear? | Superman v Shazam | Rachel Zegler’s Anthea explained | Does Black Adam appear? | Shazam x Wonder Woman | Does Shazam die? | Streaming details | Shazam 3 

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