Recent reports have surfaced indicating that a planned post-credits scene featuring Zachary Levi’s Shazam was rejected by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, the star of the recent superhero film Black Adam. According to The Wrap, the post-credits scene would have set the stage for a showdown between the two heroes, following the pattern of the comics.
In this version of the film, the surviving members of the Justice Society would have enlisted Shazam to join their team and face off against Black Adam. However, Johnson allegedly shut down this idea, preferring to include Henry Cavill’s Superman in the film instead. This move, according to the report, may have contributed to the underwhelming box-office performance of Shazam! Fury of the Gods.
However, there are more factors at play here. The last five DCEU movies have been a disappointment to critics and fans alike. Likewise, the last four superhero movies from either DC or Marvel have been received negatively by either critics or fans. There is also a chance that the superhero bubble has burst. Therefore, it’s important to consider the underwhelming box-office performance of Shazam! Fury of the Gods may not be solely attributed to Johnson’s decision not to include Shazam in Black Adam.
An inside source claimed that “Dwayne tries to sell himself as bigger than the movie. He’s one of the few people who always thinks he’s the most important person in any situation or room.” Unfortunately, this approach didn’t work out for him with Black Adam, which has received negative reviews from critics and audiences alike. Johnson may not be as smart as he thinks he is when it comes to making films. While I am a fan of Johnson’s work, it is important to recognise the pitfalls of surrounding oneself with “yes men.”
It’s a shame that Johnson didn’t take a smarter approach to the Shazam and Black Adam films. Building up to an epic showdown between the two heroes would have been a natural way to generate excitement for both franchises. However, Johnson’s preference for Superman over Shazam seems to have prevented this from happening.
Johnson’s decision not to include Shazam in Black Adam was a missed opportunity. While we may never know the full reasons behind his decision, it’s clear that his ego may have played a role. Going forward, it will be interesting to see how the Shazam franchise develops without the support of Black Adam. Filmmakers need to acknowledge that no single character or actor is bigger than the film itself, and to prioritise the needs of the story over individual preferences or egos.