After being confronted, as so many of us are, with the choice between playing hero or villain, in a movie that could totally redefine our post-wrestling film career, Dwayne Johnson has finally chosen. He’s announced today that he will play Black Adam, ending weeks—if not months—of speculation, prevaricating, and open baiting, as Johnson hinted that he would star in a Shazam movie, but remained indecisive about whether he’d play the titular superhero or his arch-nemesis. But now that choice has been made, in the place where all important decisions are: on Twitter.
Johnson’s use of the hashtag “#TheAntiHero” wasn’t just a way of linking his role to an amateur hip-hop producer or a guy in Spain who was talking about Humphrey Bogart two years ago. As Variety points out, Black Adam has recently become “more of an anti-hero trying to clear his name than a villain,” and it’s presumed that the script—from Jack The Giant Slayer’s Darren Lemke, who’s also trying to clear his name—will follow this course as well, potentially setting Johnson up for his own franchise both with and maybe even away from whomever they now get to play Captain Marvel/Billy Batson, which already seems sort of like an afterthought.
Billy Batson, of course, is a kid who—by uttering the magic word “Shazam,” then being hit by a transformative lightning bolt—is endowed with superpowers granted by an ancient wizard. Or rather, in the “No Jokes” era of DC movies, he’s a kid who dwells on his dead parents, which bathes him in transformative tears, endowing him with superpowers granted by an ancient wizard who’s currently rotting away in hospice care (and not one of the good ones, either). Then Dwayne Johnson comes and stomps on him for 90 minutes.