Black Adam is no longer getting a sequel at DC Studios. In a statement posted on Twitter, director Dwayne Johnson confirmed that after speaking with the new company’s co-CEO James Gunn, it was decided that “Black Adam will not be in the first chapter of [DC Universe’s] storytelling.” That said, the 50-year-old actor and DC will continue to explore the “most valuable ways” to use Black Adam in future “multiverse chapters.” Gunn also responded to the tweet, hoping to see what Johnson’s Seven Bucks Productions has in store, further down the line for the revamped DC universe.
DC Studios is currently undergoing a massive restructuring, which involves a full “reset” mapping out the next 10 years for the comic book universe. Similar to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Warner Bros. wants Discovery CEO David Zaslav that their superheroes’ arcs should connect and create a cohesive story that builds to a dramatic conclusion, presumably with plans for a new Justice League movie.
Amid the upheaval, several projects were canceled over the past few weeks, starting with Patty Jenkins’ Wonder Woman 3, whose script treatment “didn’t fit into the new plans.” Even Henry Cavill, who was brought back to the franchise to play Superman again, was removed as Gunn wanted to focus on the Kryptonian superhero’s younger days – not an origin story.
However, it has been more than a little chaotic. Warner Bros. temporarily brought Cavill back as Superman for the first time since 2017’s Justice Leaguein a post-credits cameo for Black Adam. Johnson and his production team fought hard to reach the camion, which he planned to use as a catalyst to build a heavyweight match between Black Adam and Superman. The actor, who has been on a mission to change “the hierarchy of power in the DC Universe,” even promised the showdown as the end result, all while introducing new groups like the Justice Society of America (JSA).
Although this sounded promising, Black Adam underperformed on both critical and commercial levels. With a reported production budget of $190 million (approx. Rs. 1,570 crore), which rose to $260 million “after a costly 20-day round of reshoots” following poor test screenings, the latest DC film only managed to collect $391 million ( approximately Rs.3,300 crore) globally. In a bizarre move, Johnson took to Twitter to assure his followers of that Black Adam was well on its way to making money, albeit in a defensive posture, hoping that a follow-up film would be greenlit by the studio.
“James and I have known each other for years and have always rooted for each other to succeed,” reads the new statement from Johnson. “It’s no different now, and I will always make sure that DC (and Marvel) wins and wins big.” Meanwhile, Gunn addressed some of the hate directed at him and DC Studios co-CEO Peter Safran, noting that disrespectful outcry would never influence their decisions to change the game for the DC Universe. The pair were appointed as new heads of the studio in October and tasked with overseeing all upcoming DC movies, TV series and animation projects.
“Our choice for [DC Universe] is based on what we think is best for the story [and] best for the DC characters that have been around for almost 85 years,” he said in a thread. “Maybe these choices are great, maybe not, but they are made with sincere hearts [and] integrity, [and] always with history in mind.”
Black Adam is now available for streaming on video-on-demand platforms in India including Apple TV, BookMyShow Stream, Google Play Movies, Prime Video Store and YouTube Movies.