An indestructible Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson as Black Adam, the DC Comics anti-hero, dominates the first trailer of the character's big-screen debut. In an action-packed two-minute clip that was released on Wednesday, a towering Johnson provides the backstory of his character while giving fans a taste of what's to come in the long-delayed film.
Black Adam, a warrior who has been imprisoned for 5,000 years, is reborn in the modern world, gifted with godlike abilities. He is then shown facing a moral dilemma, resulting from what seems like a tragic past.
"I was a slave until I died, then I was reborn a god. My son sacrificed his life to save me, now I kneel before no one," a vindictive Black Adam is heard saying in the trailer.
Doctor Fate, who is played by Pierce Brosnan, is then heard telling Black Adam: "You have two choices. You can be the destroyer of this world, or you can be its saviour."
Dressed in a hood, Black Adam is then shown reducing a soldier to ash in one scene and then standing unflinching as bullets rain on him. He's even shown catching a missile mid-flight.
In the DC Comics version, Black Adam is written as the enemy of Shazam, a story which was turned into the hit 2019 film Shazam!, with Levy Levi playing the titular hero. A face-off in later films between the two characters now seems all but inevitable.
Born to be Black Adam
Johnson, who unveiled a snippet from the film in October last year, called Black Adam his "passion project". He said it had been more than a decade in the making.
"I've worked these fingers to the bone. Because it's the kind of project that comes once in a lifetime," Johnson said at DC FanDome, a virtual event to promote DC Comics' films and shows scheduled for release.
"The truth is, I was born to be Black Adam," he said.
Reuniting with director Jaume Collet-Serra whom he worked with in the hit Disney film Jungle Cruise, Johnson is also the producer of Black Adam, and officially signed on for the role in 2014.
“This film, this universe has been a gigantic passion project of mine for a very long time,” the actor said, before unveiling the first look at the film. “The film has without question some of the biggest action sequences I have ever been a part of.”
Who is Black Adam?
Black Adam first began appearing as a villain from ancient Egypt in comic books published by DC in 1945. The character has been redefined over the years, most recently portrayed as a corrupt anti-hero attempting to clear his name and reputation.
"Teth-Adam or Mighty Adam began as a hero of humanity, but then allowed his power to corrupt his ideals and desires. Now labelled Black Adam, he was exiled by Shazam, but returned in the modern day. A frequent enemy to Earth’s heroes, Black Adam believes he is the right person to lead humanity and any action he takes is necessary for the greater good," reads a description by DC Comics.
Black Adam's first big-screen debut will also feature a star-studded cast of superheroes.
Johnson’s character is likely to face off with members of the Justice Society of America, a band of superheroes.
Netflix heartthrob Noah Centineo (To All The Boys I've Loved Before, The Perfect Date) plays Atom Smasher, who can control his molecules and change his size, density, and strength; Aldis Hodge (One Night in Miami) is Hawkman, with the ability fly thanks to his special metal wings; Quintessa Swindell (Trinkets) is Cyclone, who can control the wind; and Brosnan's Doctor Fate is an archaeologist who becomes a powerful sorcerer while wearing the Helmet of Fate.
Tunisian-Dutch actor Marwan Kenzari, who played Jafar in the 2019 live-action remake of Aladdin, has also been cast in an undisclosed role, and so has Palestinian-American comedian Mohammed "Mo" Amer. American-Iranian actress Sarah Shahi plays a university professor.
Black Adam is scheduled for release on Friday, October 21.