Although the actor had plans to create a whole franchise around the character, Johnson revealed last year that a sequel had been halted.
Dwayne Johnson is opening up about what happened to the failed Black Adam sequel and how it got caught in a “web of new leadership” at Warner Bros. Discovery.
While appearing on a recent episode of Kevin Hart’s Hart to Heart show, the actor talked about the character and film, which was a passion project for him and years in the making. Ahead of the Black Adam‘s release in October 2022, Johnson also touted plans to develop his own chapter within the DC Universe and expand the character, but that was before James Gunn and Peter Safran took over and reshaped the entire DC Studios slate.
When Hart asked Johnson how he felt that the franchise was halted, the actor responded, “Black Adam got caught in a vortex of new leadership. And at that time, as we were creating Black Adam, developing it, shooting Black Adam … it was so many changes in leadership. And as you know, anytime you have a company, but especially that size and magnitude that’s a publicly traded company, and you have all those changes in leadership, you have people coming in who, creatively and fiscally, are going to make decisions that you may not agree with.”
Johnson went on to emphasize his point that the Black Adam sequel “got caught in that web of new leadership,” and that the project being dropped “will always be one of the biggest mysteries.”
“You have the biggest opening of your career. Sure, no China, that could’ve been maybe 100, maybe 200 million more dollars,” he added. “You’re establishing a new superhero and you want to grow out the franchise. You bring back Superman and Henry Cavill – the world went crazy. … We created a diverse superhero portfolio, where we have just men and women of color in Black Adam 2 as well.”
Although the movie was one of Johnson’s biggest openings of his career and received an audience score of 88 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, it still didn’t meet expectations. At the box office, it earned $391 million globally, and the film also received poor reviews from critics with a score of 38 percent.
But Johnson noted it bothered him that the sequel wasn’t viewed from the audiences’ standpoint and what they wanted to see. He told Hart, “As business-minded people who are always thinking audience first, yes we look at and respect the bottom line economically, but also when you think about opportunity and creating opportunity and creating things that are fresh and delivering for the audience, which is our number one boss, when that wasn’t looked at through that lens, it makes things a little bit more challenging.”
In December 2022, Johnson announced that plans for a Black Adams sequel had halted and would not be resuming anytime soon. “James Gunn and I connected, and Black Adam will not be in their first chapter of storytelling,” Johnson said in a statement at the time. “However, DC and Seven Bucks have agreed to continue exploring the most valuable ways Black Adam can be utilized in future DC multiverse chapters.”
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