BLACK ADAM Star Dwayne Johnson Blames "New Leadership" For His Time As The Anti-Hero Reaching Its End

BLACK ADAM Star Dwayne Johnson Blames "New Leadership" For His Time As The Anti-Hero Reaching Its End BLACK ADAM Star Dwayne Johnson Blames "New Leadership" For His Time As The Anti-Hero Reaching Its End

Dwayne Johnson has opened up on the conclusion of the Black Adam franchise, suggesting "new leadership" can be blamed for that. He also questions why it happened after Henry Cavill's Superman return...

By JoshWilding - Aug 05, 2023 03:08 AM EST
Filed Under: Black Adam

Last October, Black Adam opened to mostly negative reviews and ended up earning just shy of $400 million at the worldwide box office. Compared to Shazam! Fury of the Gods and The Flash, that's a pretty solid result, but seeing as the movie cost over $250 million to produce, it was still a flop. 

We'd later learn how star Dwayne Johnson had set out to build the DCEU around his anti-hero, even going around DC Films brass in order to bring Henry Cavill's Superman back into the fold. 

However, when David Zaslav appointed James Gunn and Peter Safran as DC Studios' co-CEOs, they wasted no time in ousting Johnson (and Cavill). There was some talk about a possible return but new comments from the pro wrestler turned Hollywood A-Lister suggest his time as Black Adam really is over. 

"'Black Adam' got caught in a vortex of new leadership," Johnson says in the video below. "It was so many changes in leadership. Anytime you have a company, a publicly traded company, and you have all those changes in leadership, you have people coming in who, creatively and fiscally, are going to make decisions that you may not agree with."

"That will always be one of the biggest mysteries," he continued. "You have the biggest opening of your career. Sure, no China, which could’ve been maybe 100 or 200 million more dollars. You have a superhero and you want to grow out the franchise. You bring back Superman and Henry Cavill, which the world went crazy. And we created a diverse superhero portfolio, where we have just men and women of color in 'Black Adam.'"

Johnson concluded by saying the demise of the Black Adam franchise is akin to "new ownership coming in and buying an NFL team and going, 'Not my coach, not my quarterback.' It doesn’t matter how many times you won the Super Bowl or how many rings you got, you’re going with somebody else."

There's absolutely zero chance any Hollywood blockbuster will make as much as $100 million in China right now, so the Middle Kingdom was never going to save the DCEU movie. That aside, it's clear Johnson is referring to DC Studios while talking about this change in leadership. 

Based on what the trades have said, Gunn and Safran must have known they wouldn't be able to work with Johnson, particularly after the strings he pulled to bring Cavill back into the fold (which caused them a major headache right from the start). After all, that was done so Superman could fight Black Adam in a future movie and wasn't for the benefit of the wider DCEU. 

And, with all due respect to the Black Adam star, what was the biggest opening of his career is chump change for truly successful superhero movies...

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RavingNightmare - 8/5/2023, 4:05 AM
New leadership or not, it was an average film, at best.
ObserverIO - 8/5/2023, 4:25 AM
@RavingNightmare - And it flopped.
UniqNo - 8/5/2023, 4:47 AM
@ObserverIO - Average is correct, but didn't flop as hard as Shazam 2 or Flash, and yhey released after the new leadership announcements. Not their fault but being public about it doomed the movies that released this year. He makes a good point Bout china though but it would not have made those numbers at all.
CorndogBurglar - 8/5/2023, 6:17 AM
@UniqNo - It didn't need to flop as hard as hard as Shazam 2 or The Flash. It still lost over $100 million.
JonAwesome - 8/5/2023, 7:14 AM
@RavingNightmare - it was the hierarchy of power that messed that movie up!
2013venjix - 8/5/2023, 7:58 AM
@RavingNightmare - It's all of the above.
dracula - 8/5/2023, 4:07 AM
You know ive looked at some of the china numbers for some of the more recent movies in the genre

People really overblow how big of an impact china has on movies

Movies that made more than Black Adam, cut out the china money and they still made more than black adam and they did not make hundreds of millions in china

Like guardians of the galaxy 1 it made 86 million in china……. Subtract that from the box office haul and it still made more

The batman did 25 million in china, take that away and still made more than black adam

And the list goes on
TheHumanSpider2 - 8/5/2023, 8:31 AM
@dracula - China HAD a big impact, but not anymore after the pandemic.
That is the current Hollywood dilema, they still make $200M budget movies without having the biggest market in the world anymore.
dracula - 8/5/2023, 4:08 AM
Black adam is dc’s morbius
kylo0607 - 8/5/2023, 6:38 AM
@dracula - I am quite sure that's The Flash, although both that and Black Adam are both bottom of the barrel hot garbage.

abd00bie - 8/5/2023, 4:19 AM
I think it's partially true, Gunn announcing Shazam 2 was not part of the new DCEU killed that one for sure lol I think a lot of people didn't care for it after that statement
DrReedRichards - 8/5/2023, 4:24 AM
Sure, Dwayne.

You may have actively tried to change said leadership (sorry, "HiErArChY") from the very start, before that vanity project even went into production, but sure-- it's their fault that your flick flopped.
JDL - 8/5/2023, 6:36 AM
@DrReedRichards - I took him as saying the changeover explained the lack of a sequel. The B.O. of Black Adam thus being supposedly not all that critical.
MosquitoFarmer - 8/5/2023, 4:29 AM
It was an uphill battle of a project long before it ever actually got made, and then how it was finally crafted for release. While there are a lot of complaints against the movie in regards to the new situatiun of rebooting the DC film universe, the majority of complaints against the film are standalone in nature. I understand though that there are a lot of things that happen behind-the-scenes creatively that were probably made while making the film because of the changing hands at the studio.
ProfessorWhy - 8/5/2023, 4:38 AM
This guy is paper thin. It's all about him. He didn't care about the property. Otherwise he would have put on the hair and ears, aligned with Shazam rather than superman, and put his efforts into good film making rather than self aggrandizement and franchise coups. Dwayne gets none of my $
Th3Batman - 8/5/2023, 5:01 AM
He got booted out because the movie didn't make $$$, it had nothing to do with who was in charge.
JDL - 8/5/2023, 6:38 AM
@Th3Batman - Imo unless it did a ton of business it was dead to the DC Universe anyway. Had it done well it might have continued on as a standalone.
Th3Batman - 8/5/2023, 10:39 AM
@JDL - Had it done well he'd be the one running DC right now.
JDL - 8/5/2023, 1:12 PM
@Th3Batman - They switched to Gunn et al a month after it premiered. Obviously they had already made up their minds.
Reeds2Much - 8/5/2023, 5:12 AM
Levy blaming the audiences, Johnson blaming the company, and audiences blaming both.
rebellion - 8/5/2023, 5:21 AM
try blaming your ego and your crap movie instead
CoHost - 8/5/2023, 5:24 AM
Y'know what, WB? Just go make a Space Ghost movie.
iceballsreborn - 8/5/2023, 5:51 AM
johnson is one of the least valuable dollar for return stars in hollywood. he makes what $40m a year over 2/3 movies and has had more misses recently than hits.

also, $400m isnt a ring. its not even the playoffs.
CorndogBurglar - 8/5/2023, 6:20 AM
@iceballsreborn - Considering that the budget was over $250 million? A ring or thr playoffs aren't even in the view. The movie lost more than $100 million. It wasn't even a winning season.
EgoEgor - 8/5/2023, 5:51 AM
He was write all along though; the hierarchy of superheroes did change.
CorndogBurglar - 8/5/2023, 6:21 AM
I don't think I hated this movie as much as others. Was it good? No. No, it wasnt lol. But I got a lot of enjoyment out of Black Adam vs Hawkman and Dr Fate.
mountainman - 8/5/2023, 6:28 AM
@CorndogBurglar - The Justice Society was the best part.
Spike101 - 8/5/2023, 6:38 AM
I watched this recently having been put off paying at the cinema by so many negative reviews and knowing it was going nowhere due to the Gunn reboot. With this second point and the fact that the worst parts of the movie were those that had clearly been reshoot to fit the new narrative. In summary WB by their own choices are the victims of their own stupidity. Gunn’s universe will exist for another 5-10 years or so then get rebooted again.
FireandBlood - 8/5/2023, 6:52 AM
@Spike101 - The only DC series didn’t manage to ruin was Nolan’s Batman, because of Nolan. From Superman 78’ to now, WB and these producers have been [frick]ing over DC one way or another, and it’s showing no sign of stopping. Gunn’s universe won’t last because, good or bad, WB haven’t got the capacity to allow it to. They’re just simply can’t help themselves.
Spike101 - 8/5/2023, 8:44 AM
@PlusUltra - totally agree! There seems to be no clear direction or will to make it work. When a movie receives poor reviews they should just them onboard, learn and direct the path a little and sail on rather than sink everything in the shared ocean and start again each time. Marvel have until recently profited hugely with continuity but are now also in danger of doing the same.
FireandBlood - 8/5/2023, 6:49 AM
His hostile coup d'état of DC studios will never not be hilarious to me, and was honestly one of the few actual entertaining parts of the DCEU.
DocSpock - 8/5/2023, 7:19 AM

Too much inspection involving this. The movie sucked. The end.

Now he wants to whine and point fingers while crying, "It wasn't my fault!" So sick of this self loving meathead scowling his way through stupid/bad movie after movie.

GhostDog - 8/5/2023, 8:14 AM
Come on now. You tried to change the hIeARcHy and had a failed coup d'état. He talked this thing so much and the final nail in the coffin was an ass movie.
LilJimmy - 8/5/2023, 8:58 AM
Dwayne’s ego still can’t handle it
AmazingFILMporg - 8/5/2023, 9:07 AM
Black Adam was [frick]ing terrible. It was so dated and the special effects were embarrassing. Like seriously the villain in the end of the film looked like a PS3 game.

The people that loved black Adam are edge lord goth people that want dark films and think dark films consist of edgy violence and saying cringe one liners 🤡
JRM1995 - 8/5/2023, 9:12 AM
@AmazingFILMporg - You've always been a MCU clown that knows nothing, you're a complete CLOWN, always have been. Sorry, I love Dwayne and he's technically the biggest movie star in the world. His brand is HUGE, so the film sucked, but it's better than 90% of MCU Phase 4, so what does that say? In the end, who cares, it's not the end of the world, definitely a missed opportunity.
AmazingFILMporg - 8/5/2023, 9:20 AM
@JRM1995 -

You obviously don't see my comments on the MCU phase 4🤡💁

You are butthurt that BA was [frick]ing terrible. It obviously hurt your heart and you are devastated about it.

Seek help🤡
Twenty23Three - 8/5/2023, 9:29 AM
Better leadership wouldn’t have let him put out a black Adam solo movie. So he got the best he was going to get
CAPTAINPINKEYE - 8/5/2023, 9:29 AM
I haven’t seen the movie. The trailer was so uninteresting that I didn’t want to waste 2 hours of my life in it.
Ha1frican - 8/5/2023, 9:47 AM
It’s because it wasn’t good and didn’t make money that new leadership came in in the first place.
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