Black Adam has incredible powers, but not enough to push a sequel to the film forward.
Dwayne Johnson, who played the titular role in the superhero film and produced the project through his Seven Bucks Productions, confirmed Tuesday that the sequel had been halted. The decision followed a management shakeup at Warner Bros., which saw new leadership brought in at DC Studios.
In a lengthy statement on Twitter, Johnson said he learned the film’s fate after meeting with the new leaders of DC Studios, James Gunn and Peter Safran. While it’s still possible Black Adam could eventually stage a comeback, Johnson said the character is not in DC’s plans for the near future.
“My passionate friends, I wanted to give you a long-awaited Black Adam update regarding the character’s future in the new DC Universe. James Gunn and I connected, and Black Adam will not be in their first chapter of storytelling,” Johnson wrote. “However, DC and Seven Bucks have agreed to continue exploring the most valuable ways Black Adam can be utilized in future DC multiverse chapters.”
Johnson admitted he was disappointed, but he remained gracious.
“I will always root for DC (and Marvel) to win and WIN BIG. You guys know me, and I have very thick skin – and you can always count on me to be direct with my words,” he added. “These decisions made by James and DC leadership represent their vision of DCU through their creative lens.”
Black Adam premiered in the U.S. on Oct 21, and topped the weekend box office.
To date the film has earned $391 million worldwide. While that’s definitely a super-sized haul, it may not be enough to make the movie profitable after production and marketing costs.
“After 15 years of relentless hard work to finally make Black Adam, I’m very proud of the film we delivered for fans worldwide,” Johnson said. “I will always look back on the fan reaction to Black Adam with tremendous gratitude, humility and love.”
Black Adam?? pic.twitter.com/b7ZbCJZxBw
— Dwayne Johnson (@TheRock) December 20, 2022
Gunn responded on Twitter, “Love @TheRock & I’m always excited to see what he & Seven Bucks do next. Can’t wait to collaborate soon.”
News that the Black Adam sequel would not be moving forward came after Superman actor, Henry Cavill, took to Instagram on Dec. 14 to reveal he would not be reprising his role as the Man of Steel.
“I have just had a meeting with James Gunn and Peter Safran and it’s sad news, everyone. I will, after all, not be returning as Superman,” he shared. “We can mourn for a bit, but then we must remember… Superman is still around.”
Cavill played Superman in Man of Steel (2013), Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016) and Justice League (2017). He also had made an appearance as Superman in Black Adam.
That same week, writer and director Patty Jenkins confirmed that DC would not be moving forward with the third installment of the Wonder Woman franchise starring Gal Gadot.
“When there started being backlash about WW3 not happening, the attractive clickbait false story that it was me who killed it or walked away started to spread. This simply is not true. I never walked away,” Jenkins wrote on Twitter. “It was my understanding there was nothing I could do to move anything forward at this time. DC is obviously buried in changes they are having to make, so I understand these decisions are difficult right now.”
Jenkins helmed Wonder Woman (2017) and Wonder Woman 1984 (2020).
— Patty Jenkins (@PattyJenks) December 14, 2022
Fans have naturally been upset about the seemingly endless changes at DC Studios.
Gunn, who wrote and directed The Suicide Squad, took to Twitter on Monday to address the backlash.
“One of the things Peter & I were aware of when we took the job as heads of DC Studios was a certain minority of people online that could be, well, uproarious & unkind, to say the least,” he tweeted. “But this means little to us in comparison to our jobs as artists & custodians in helping to create a wide & wonderful future for DC.”