Well, the DCEU appears to be going out with a whimper. Two straight movies have tanked at the box office, but what’s especially sad about it is both are in the Shazam corner of the universe, those being Black Adam and Shazam: Fury of the Gods. Maybe it’s just that audiences aren’t interested in those characters? Maybe. Or perhaps Dwayne Johnson, whose attempts to take control of the DCEU are well documented at this point, did something that hurt both movies?
In a new report at The Wrap, it’s claimed that Johnson shot down a Black Adam post-credits scene that would’ve included Zachary Levi’s Shazam. The two characters are powered by the same mystical powers and are forever linked as rivals. The scene would’ve had Zachary Levi’s Shazam invited by Hawkman (Aldis Hodge) to join the Justice Society.
It’s also said that Johnson shot down a similar post-credits scene for Shazam: Fury of the Gods. SPOILER ALERT: An altered version of the scene does appear in the film, but it has Peacemaker and The Suicide Squad actors Jennifer Holland and Steve Agee making the invite to Shazam, which makes absolutely no sense.
The implication is that Johnson wanted all of the attention on himself and his plans for a future match-up with Henry Cavill as Superman, and really wanted no part of Shazam.
Looking back at Johnson’s hype for Black Adam, does he ever really talk about Shazam at all? Not really. Recall that from the beginning, Johnson had his pick of which DC character he wanted to play. He chose Black Adam, when he probably should’ve chosen a character without deep roots that extend throughout the DC Universe.
Not that it’s guaranteed a Black Adam/Shazam link would’ve saved either film, but it couldn’t have hurt. Fans like cinematic universes and they like franchises that connect to one another. Johnson may have sabotaged both movies and now fans of those characters may not get them in James Gunn’s DCU.