5 Undeniable Reasons BLACK ADAM And Dwayne Johnson KILLED The DCEU As We Know It

The DCEU's end is nigh, with the DCU now set to take its place. That's both a good and bad thing, but if you're looking for someone to blame, it's not James Gunn and Peter Safran: it's Dwayne Johnson!

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What a crazy 24 hours it's been.

After Deadline dropped an article with information blatantly fed to them by Dwayne Johnson's team attempting to counter reports that Black Adam won't turn a profit, The Hollywood Reporter responded by making it clear the DCEU is almost certainly dead.

James Gunn and Peter Safran, the co-CEOs of DC Studios, are plotting a fresh start for the DCU that's unlikely to include actors from the past, with not even Patty Jenkins' Wonder Woman 3 able to find a place in their slate in its current iteration. 

The Rock, however, disagrees. A stranger to negative headlines and unhappy about having the blame for delivering yet another DCEU flop laid at his feet, he's fighting back and intent on making a whole slate of Black Adam projects happen to the point where it's bordering on delusional. 

Unfortunately, both Johnson and Black Adam have played a key role in what now looks to be the DCEU's death knell. From his heavy-handed approach to the movie business to his attempts to force his vision on DC Studios, you'll find our take on how this movie contributed to the DCEU's downfall by tapping the NEXT button. 

5. He Didn't, And Still Doesn't, Respect The Hierarchy Of Power


When Johnson was doing the round to promote Black Adam, he started being asked about possibly taking charge of the DCEU for Warner Bros. Positioning himself as an advisor, it was apparent the actor believed that, while not in a position to head up the division, his ideas were ones that could bring the shared world success. 

If the critical response to Black Adam is any indication, his DCEU would be a bigger disaster than the SnyderVerse. 

We're beginning to get the impression Johnson doesn't play well with others, hence why he clashed with Vin Diesel while working on the Fast & Furious franchise. In the case of the DCEU, he went around Walter Hamada to bring Henry Cavill back as Superman, making it hard for Gunn and Safran to trust him while putting together this new DCU. 

4. Superman's Return Was For His Benefit, Not The Fans


It's no wonder the DC Studios bosses are looking to end the DCEU when they have an actor willing to go to the lengths Johnson did to get Cavill back as Superman. 

While the actor has created a narrative that he did this for the fans because we all deserve to see the Man of Steel on screen, there were multiple Superman projects in the works during Hamada's reign. Realising he had a stinker on his hands, Johnson enlisted Cavill last-minute for a cameo and sequel tease, both of which benefit Black Adam the most. 

For anyone who knows the movie business, what he's doing is blatantly obvious, and downright manipulative. The irony, of course, is that fans walked out of Johnson's movie wanting more Superman, not more Black Adam. The actors, who share an agent, announced Cavill's return without a contract in place, an apparent attempt to force the studio to bring him back.

3. He's Already At War With DC Studios


With Johnson clearly willing and able to use his massive social media following to fool fans into falling for his act (he used to be a pro wrestler, so that's nothing new), this is a danger to DC Studios.

Gunn and Safran have been enlisted to create a ten-year plan. Johnson, meanwhile, is taking to Twitter to make promises about sequels and spin-offs that he wants to become a reality; no one aside from Gunn and Safran knows what's coming, so when there are no Black Adam 2, Hawkman, and Justice Society movies on that slate, DC Studios will come under fire. 

Even now, as Gunn asks fans to be patient for the DCU they've been waiting for, Johnson is leaking financial information to friendly trades and arguing that his movie was a hit. Many fans will fall for that, and again, will target DC Studios when they don't get what they believe is a well-earned sequel. It's time to move on from that toxicity. 

2. He's Feeding The Press A False Narrative


To be a professional wrestler, you need to know how to "work" a crowd and make people believe in what you're selling. The Rock was phenomenal at that, hence why he's considered an all-time great by WWE fans. 

From the start, outlets desperate to ensure they receive future interview access have given him oddly positive coverage. Even Black Adam's underwhelming opening weekend was declared a huge success for Johnson, with it described as the biggest debut of his career...a career in which he's never had a movie open with more than $67 million.

As recently as yesterday, Deadline posted a fawning story full of information leaked to them by Johnson's team, desperately trying to sell Black Adam as a hit. Critics have never been kind to the DCEU, but as DC Studios looks to rebuild the franchise, an actor with this much sway looking to protect their reputation as a leading man can't be an appealing prospect.

1. Black Adam Was Everything That's Wrong With The DCEU


Johnson spent years hyping up Black Adam, promising to change the hierarchy of power in the DCEU and declaring it a fresh start for the franchise. This was to be the opening chapter in a new era of storytelling. Instead, it was no better than Suicide Squad and Justice League, with crappy slo-mo, bad VFX, and a drab story, ensuring that it fits right in with those flops. 

The actor was terrific as Black Adam, but the movie opened to terrible reviews and bad box office numbers, the norm for the DCEU at this stage. It's down to Gunn and Safran to change this, making their DCU as popular and successful as the MCU.

Had Black Adam been a mega-hit, perhaps that would alter things. As it stands, the DC Studios co-CEOs already have no other choice than to release the DCEU's dregs next year, so what about this critical and commercial bomb would make them want to continue either the anti-hero's franchise or this shared world in general? It's a poisoned apple. 


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