Dwayne Johnson Finally Reveals What Stopped His DC Takeover

in DC, Entertainment

Dwayne Johnson as Black Adam in Black Adam (2022). Credit: Warner Bros./ D.C

Credit: Warner Bros.

Dwayne Johnson might be one of the biggest stars on the planet, but the man fell short when it came to creating a brand-new universe for DC. Johnson cultivated and created Black Adam, which was supposed to be a brand-new franchise that would lead the DCEU into the future. Though he initially hoped for that, his plan was shot down, and now the actor has revealed why that happened.

Dwayne Johnson as Black Adam
Credit: Warner Bros.

Related: James Gunn Canceled the Most Requested DC Movie

Despite the controversy surrounding it, Black Adam had the makings of a film that could have carried DC to a much different era. The film secured a box office haul of $393.3 million against a reported budget of $190 to $260 million. The film might not have made back a ton of money, but it was certainly not a box office disaster like Shazam 2 and The Flash.

Dwayne Johnson also has the pull to put people in seats genuinely. It’s just that DC has been a huge mess for many years, and with the Snydeverse beginning to end right when Johnson was planning to take over, he was stuck in the middle of a bad situation. Johnson went into detail about what truly happened with his takeover and why Black Adam didn’t reach the levels it could have.

Dwayne Johnson Explains the ‘Black Adam’ Fiasco

Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart have been friends for a long time, and Johnson was recently a Guest on Hart’s Peacock series, Hart to Heart. The comedian and host asks his Guests tough and personal questions, and Johnson answered them with pure honesty. We recently covered part of this interview, which covered Johnson speaking about his daughter’s WWE career.

Apart from the questions about family, Hart asked the tough question about what exactly happened with Black Adam, which Johnson seemed almost reluctant to answer. After a small breath, he got into the details, which he believed had everything to do with James Gunn taking over. Hart asked Johnson what happened with the announcement that DC would not move forward with a sequel, especially after the film had a ton of excitement behind it. According to Johnson:

“I think that Black Adam got caught in a vortex of new leadership, and that the time as we were creating Black Adam, developing it, shooting Black Adam, we got knocked down because of COVID and the shutdowns, and got back up—there were so many changes in leadership. As you know when you anytime you have a company, but especially that size and magnitutde, that is a public traded company—and you have all those changes in leadership, you have people coming in who creatively, fiscally, are gonna make decisions that you may not agree with philisophically. Black Adam was one of those movies that caught in that web of new leadership.”

Dwayne Johnson is alluding to the fact that James Gunn was already in the process of taking over as the new head of DC, which caused the biggest issues regarding wanting to continue his new franchise. He also revealed that fans were excited, especially when Henry Cavill returned as Superman via a post-credits scene. However, that was not enough to allow him to continue his vision. Despite these big reveals, DC chose not to move forward, and there were controversial reports that Johnson was attempting to take over DC completely.

There had been plenty of rumors that speculation that Johnson was trying to make Black Adam the centerpiece for the entirety of the DC Universe, and bringing back Cavill was his idea—which he pushed for. There had also been controversy over this decision, which Warner Bros. had reportedly not agreed with, which is another reason why the franchise and Johnson’s plans got shut down.

Dwayne Johnson also talked about how Black Adam was not given a release in China which could have resulted in at least $100 to $200 million in extra box office gains. It might have changed its cancelation if the DC movie made around $700 million. That was what happened with Shazam, though we know the sequel crashed and burned.

Johnson may have seen Black Adam as something more, and despite a legion of fans behind him, DC decided to scrap everything. James Gunn is currently doing the same thing, as he announced that the new DCU starts with Superman: Legacy. Shazam 2 and The Flash bombing, in the way, is why DC was not trying to take additional chances in allowing Black Adam 2 to move forward.

James Gunn speaking at the Facebook F8 Developer's Conference 2017
Credit: Anthony Quintano via Wikimedia Commons

Related: James Gunn Reveals Which DC Movies Actually Matter

Blue Beetle and Aquaman 2 are the final holdouts from the DCEU era, and if they also bomb, Gunn’s decision to blow up the entire DC Universe will seem far more sensical.

What do you think of Dwayne Johnson stating leadership caused his Black Adam universe to fail? Let Inside the Magic know in the comments down below!


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