Not only was Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson‘s Black Adam ultimately unsuccessful, but at least according to Shazam star Zachary Levi, Johnson’s failed attempt to shape the DC universe around himself also hurt Shazam‘s sequel.
Levi reposted a story from The Wrap that confirmed Johnson personally blocked Levi from appearing as Shazam in Black Adam. He also reportedly ordered a last-minute nixing of a Shazam sequel after-credits scene in which Levi’s character would be recruited into Black Adam‘s Justice Society of America.
“The truth shall set you free,” Levi captioned the Instagram Story.
It was all a part of Johnson’s efforts to “undermine Shazam,” the trade reports.
While the character of Black Adam is canonically a foil of Levi’s red-suited hero, Johnson refused to appear as the heavy in 2019’s Shazam and publicly set his sights on an Adam/Superman matchup instead. He even lured Henry Cavill out of superhero retirement to play the latter in an Adam after-credits, only to have the entire thing blow up in his face when the movie underperformed, and James Gunn and Peter Safran made new superhero plans for Warner Bros. Discovery.
Shazam‘s sequel managed to top the box office over last weekend, albeit with a weak $30 million bow. While the original had a 90% from ratings aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, with an 82% Audience Score, critics and fans are split on the follow-up, with a 51% from critics — but an actually better audience score than the original, at 87%.
Levi addressed this disconnect via Twitter, explaining in a now-deleted Tweet, “I think the biggest issue we’re having is marketing. This is a perfect family movie, and yet a lot of families aren’t aware of that. Which is just a shame.”
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