Black Out

Black Adam 2 is out of the new DCU, but not Dwayne Johnson

A sequel is on ice, but the door is still open for Johnson.

SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA - JULY 23: Actor Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson appears at the Warner Brothers pane...
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Black Adam, banished?

In a thunderous announcement on social media, Dwayne Johnson confirmed there are no plans for a Black Adam sequel in James Gunn’s vision for the DC cinematic franchise. However, both Johnson and Gunn expressed some openness about working together, including Johnson returning as his DC anti-hero someday; or perhaps as someone else entirely.

Yesterday evening, Johnson published a statement on Twitter and Instagram confirming that his intentions to expand upon Black Adam, which opened in theaters in October and is now on HBO Max, are on ice.

“I wanted to give [fans] a long-awaited Black Adam update regarding the character’s future in the new DC Universe,” Johnson wrote. “James Gunn and I connected, and Black Adam will not be in their first chapter of storytelling. However, DC and Seven Bucks have agreed to continue exploring the most valuable ways Black Adam can be utilized in future DC multiverse chapters.”

Dwayne Johnson at the Black Adam premiere in Madrid, Spain.

Beatriz Velasco/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

Johnson added that he has “always rooted” for Gunn, but also name-dropped DC’s rival, Marvel. “It’s no different now, and I will always root for DC (and Marvel) to win and WIN BIG,” Johnson said. He then thanked fans for their support, saying, “I will always look back on the fan reaction to Black Adam with tremendous gratitude, humility, and love.”

Gunn responded to Johnson’s post with good feelings, saying, “Love @TheRock & I’m always excited to see what he & Seven Bucks do next. Can’t wait to collaborate soon.”

So there will be no Black Adam 2, no Justice Society spin-off, and definitely no showdown with Henry Cavill’s Superman. Despite the star power of Johnson, Black Adam couldn’t flex its muscles at the box office; the movie has a limp $391 million gross as of writing. That’s a lot of money, but accounting for production costs, it’s simply not enough to shock the superhero system.

Still, the door is open for Johnson to return in whatever capacity Gunn deems fit. Gunn has yet to reveal his plans, but with Johnson mentioning the “DC multiverse,” the actor’s return to the franchise may split the difference between Johnson’s desire to hold dominion over his corner of the DCU and Gunn’s vision for it. This further implies that Gunn’s new DCU will be a completely different entity than the existing DC Extended Universe.

Johnson may not star in a Black Adam sequel, but the door is open for Johnson to return to the DCU.

Warner Bros. Pictures

What’s more unlikely, but not impossible, is Johnson changing capes. The actor seems married to Black Adam as his only DC superhero role; in the years-long lead-up to the movie, Johnson talked a big game about always aspiring to be Superman, but having a hint of darkness that kept him from truly relating to the role. Hence Black Adam, whose moral compass is far murkier than the Man of Steel’s.

As Gunn’s DCU resets, there’s the possibility of DC actors getting new roles. Jason Momoa is rumored to be exchanging his trident for a biker chain, becoming the galactic bounty hunter Lobo after the next (and apparently last) Aquaman movie, Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom. It’s not impossible for Dwayne Johnson to find a new role in the expansive DC canon. But Johnson might be most comfortable staying the man in black, even if there never is a Black Adam 2.

Black Adam is now streaming on HBO Max.

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