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Black Adam Producers Discuss The Anti-Hero’s Debut

4 min read

It's been a long time coming but DC fans are finally seeing their fan favourite anti-hero on the big screen. hits cinemas this week, starring in the titular role. After seeing the film, Filmhounds had a chance to chat with two of the film's producers, and , about working with Dwayne Johnson and what makes Black Adam standout from the crowd. 

Both producers have a long history of working with Johnson, with the three working together all the way back on 2012's Journey 2: The Mysterious Island and since working on projects such as San Andreas and Skyscraper. It's a no-brainer for Johnson to reunite with Garcia and Flynn on Black Adam, particularly since the character is so dear to the Hollywood superstar. 

And that personal attachment Johnson has with Black Adam was visible throughout the project. “I did notice something different”, recalls Flynn. “No one works as hard as Dwayne, as we all know. He's so invested. But there was something just slightly different about Black Adam. He's very personalised. He worked two years straight on training and trying to get his body, shape and mind in a place to play this hero and really deliver to the fans what they really want and expect from him. His focus was relentless. He worked very, very hard with us on the script, on the entire cast around him in terms of the production process. Again, he's always deeply invested”.

Dwayne Johnson on the Black Adam set viewing a tablet beside a masked up crew member.

Johnson is typically cast as the heroic leading man, effortlessly saving the day with a grin and a snappy one-liner. Whilst some of those attributes might be found in Black Adam, Garcia remarks on how the role shows a new side to Johnson. “I've never seen him play a character like this. This is really a departure from any previous character he played and we were just so impressed with the way he upped his game for this. He truly disappears in the film and you really lose DJ in it, which is a hard thing to do. You really just find yourself with Black Adam. And there's a lot of things that people have come to expect when you see a Dwayne Johnson film that you really don't get in this. You're going to get the big action, you're going to get the fun. But in terms of what DJ is giving, you never see that big megawatt smile that you're used to. And the seriousness of Black Adam was a really fun thing to watch DJ portray. So we're excited for fans to see this because it truly is a next level performance by DJ. And he brings to life a really fascinating, intimidating antihero from the DC universe”.

Given how rapidly the grew after Man of Steel kickstarted this series of movies, it's wasn't a surprise when certain superheroes were being introduced in other character's films. Wonder Woman made her debut in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, alongside The Flash, Aquaman and Cyborg; and Suicide Squad introduced a host of villains that have since reappeared in other movies. Black Adam, it seems, is worthy enough of his own origin story. Across the entire genre, there have been countless origin stories – some more successful than others. How is Black Adam going to stand out from the crowd?    

There's been so many great superhero movies out there, but there's never been an antihero movie like this with an antihero at the power level of Black Adam”, answered Garcia. “And I think that's what really sets him apart. He has a tragic backstory, and I know some characters have tragic backstories, but I think the way about he gets his powers is really compelling, and I think ultimately, the force of nature he is in this universe is very interesting because most of the antiheroes you've seen before on film, they're grounded a bit. They can kind of be contained. You can work around them. You can manage them. Black Adam's not a character that can do that. Obviously, it requires a whole team that tries to deal with that in this movie. But I think you get an idea that Black Adam is a handful. So to introduce a character like that, that not only is as powerful as he is but also naturally creates a ripple effect in the DC universe and commands the respect of everyone else around, that's really interesting for us.”

It'd be an understatement to remark that there is a lot of anticipation from fans – and a lot of pressure from Johnson, Garcia and Flynn – seeing this all-powerful anti-hero make an impressionable big screen debut. Just as committed as Johnson is to the role, Garcia and Flynn are excited to introduce Black Adam to the world and change the hierarchy of power in the DC universe. “We wanted to make sure that Black Adam put the world on tilt”, says Flynn. “Just with his presence, his re-emergence after thousands of years, everyone is incredibly on edge. This can go any direction, and you feel that. We believe in the movie and also in hopefully future instalments to come.” 

Black Adam releases in cinemas from October 21st.