Perhaps if Black Adam had been released a few months later, and performed how it did, it would be looked at more positively than it is now. At $393M worldwide, the film’s overall box office is better than Shazam: Fury of the Gods’ $134M (!!!) and The Flash at $268M, but we had no idea things were going to get worse following Dwayne Johnson’s pet superhero project. Following those lackluster numbers, James Gunn and Peter Safran quickly stepped up to the plate for a DC reboot. And yet for Johnson, he’s still flummoxed as to why Black Adam 2 isn’t a thing that’s happening.
Joining his pal Kevin Hart on the Hart to Heart show, Johnson barely acknowledges the poor performance of Black Adam, and instead blames changing leadership at Warner Bros. Discovery for the lack of a sequel. According to him, Hollywood and all of Wall Street are as confused as he is…
“As we were creating ‘Black Adam,’ developing it, shooting [it] — we got knocked down a little bit because of COVID and the shutdowns, got back up — there were so many changes in leadership. Any time you have a company, but especially that size and magnitude that’s a publicly traded company, and you have all those changes in leadership, you have people coming in who creatively, fiscally, are gonna make decisions that you may not agree with philosophically.”
“That will always be one of the biggest mysteries, I think, not only for me and us on our end, but also throughout our business,” Johnson continued. “Because that’s a Kevin question, but that was a question out of Wall Street. That was a question out of Hollywood.”
Look, Black Adam didn’t make any money, and it didn’t have the critical acclaim or buzz that could justify a sequel. Nobody, other than Johnson maybe, was buzzing to see more. I maintain that Johnson needs to get together with his team and create an original superhero character that can be a franchise just for him, similar to the way Vin Diesel has the Riddick movies. Then Johnson can do everything how he wants to do it, and the blame will fall squarely on his shoulders if it fails. Just as the rewards can be his if it succeeds.