It’s fascinating to imagine just how differently the DCU could have turned out had Dwayne Johnson’s Black Adam not under-performed at the box office and seen the A-list action icon cast out of the entire franchise almost as soon as James Gunn and Peter Safran assumed control of the studio.
Heading into the superhero blockbuster’s release, The Rock had talked a big game about “changing the hierarchy of power,” which inevitably became a stick used to bludgeon him over the head when his long-gestating passion project he’d persevered with for 15 years proved to be a one-and-done.
In an alternate timeline, we’d have ended up with multiple Black Adam sequels, potential spin-offs for the Justice Society on screens both big and small, that mouthwatering showdown with Henry Cavill’s Superman, and even a prospective crossover with Zachary Levi’s Shazam! despite Johnson’s alleged indifference to making it happen.
Cameos from Jennifer Holland and Steve Agee even tied it to The Suicide Squad and Peacemaker, too, so the opportunities were off the charts. Instead, the leading man and producer ended up with absolutely nothing to show for his over-ambitious efforts, with Black Adam failing to crack $400 million globally despite reigning as the DCU’s highest-grossing release since 2018.
One of the genre’s biggest “what if?” moments in recent history, Black Adam will exist forevermore of a taster for what may have been. It’s still a capable performer on streaming, to be fair, with FlixPatrol revealing the misfire to be one of the biggest hits on not just Max, but Prime Video, iTunes, Google Play, and Rakuten as well.