Jaume Collet-Serra, Johnson’s director on Disney’s Jungle Cruise, is in negotiations to helm Black Adam for New Line Cinema and Warner Bros., EW has learned. Collet-Serra is known for directing Liam Neeson in The Commuter, Run All Night, and Non-Stop, as well as Blake Lively in The Shallows.
Johnson was initially set to portray anti-hero Black Adam in Shazam!, starring Zachary Levi, but plans changed in 2017 and now the character is getting his own standalone film. Variety, which was the first to report the news of Collet-Serra’s negotiations to join the project, states Black Adam is now a priority for New Line following the hype around Shazam! and Johnson’s first foray into the superhero movie space.
Plot details are currently under wraps, but Black Adam is Shazam!’s best-known adversary.
In DC’s Shazam!, which has made nearly $363 million internationally, Billy Batson (Asher Angel) was chosen by a wizard to become his champion against supernatural forces. By uttering “Shazam,” the kid transformed into an adult body (Levi) with the wisdom of Solomon, strength of Hercules, stamina of Atlas, power of Zeus, courage of Achilles, and speed of Mercury. Thousands of years earlier in the comic book iteration of these characters, Teth-Adam, known then as “Mighty Adam” and in the future as Black Adam, was a former champion of the wizard who became corrupted by his magical power.
In the film Black Adam, the character is described more as an anti-hero.
Rampage scribe Adam Sztykiel wrote the latest draft of the movie, which will be produced by Johnson, Dany Garcia, Hiram Garcia, and Beau Flynn.