Black Adam Footage Reaction: Dwayne Johnson's Superhero Passion Project Is Almost Here [CinemaCon 2022]

It's hard to believe we are finally getting close to the release of "Black Adam," a movie that was announced so long ago that Batman and Superman hadn't even discovered their mothers shared a first name. Now, not only is the film definitely for real this time, with absolute certainty and without further delays coming out this year, but we've seen some footage to prove its existence!

At the center of it all is Dwayne Johnson, the man who singlehandedly spent the better part of two decades hyping up his superhero passion project and making sure "The hierarchy of power in the DC Universe is changing" is as imprinted in our heads as his wrestling catchphrases. Really, few actors have been this enthusiastic about a superhero role since Andrew Garfield melted our hearts with his love of Spider-Man.

"Jungle Cruise" director Jaume Collet-Serra takes the reins of "Black Adam," directing from a script by Adam Sztykiel, Rory Haines, and Sohrab Noshirvani. The film is based on the popular character originally introduced as a villain for Captain Marvel (now Shazam), which was more recently re-defined as a corrupt antihero in the critically acclaimed comic "52."

Though we don't know much about the plot of the film, we do know that it is set to introduce the oldest superhero team: the Justice Society of America. From Atom Smasher and Hawkman, to Pierce freaking Brosnan as Doctor Fate, JSA fans will have a lot to look forward to. 

While we'll have to wait a bit longer for the film to be released, we're on the ground at CinemaCon where Warner Bros. just released some new footage from the film, and it sounds very exciting.

The hierarchy of power in the DC universe is changing

Dwayne Johnson was present and at center stage at the presentation to talk about "Black Adam" (as well as this summer's "DC League of Super-Pets"). The wrestler-turned-actor discussed how this is a passion project for him. Which makes sense, given that he's been attacked to this role for more than a decade. As Johnson has said for some time now, he reiterated that "the hierarchy of power in the DC Universe is about to change," and teased that we'll see why. The Rock also explained that director Jaume Collett-Serra told him that, "I see Black Adam as being the Dirty Harry of the superhero world" in their early talks.

As mentioned, a big part of this movie will be introducing the live-action version of the JSA. With that being the case, Pierce Brosnan, Aldis Hodge, Sarah Shahi, Quintessa Swindell, and Noah Centineo all took the stage as well. Swindell, for her part, plays Maxine Hunkel (aka Cyclone), a new superhero who is related to Red Tornado. Centineo says he plays Atom Smasher, a recruit trying out for the Justice Society. The news of Centineo's character being a recruit is something we had not heard previously. The hat tip to Red Tornado is also certainly worth noting.

Following the talk with the cast, new footage of "Black Adam" played. The footage opened on a wintery mountain, with a ship flying in. Things kick off with our title character in some sort of chamber filled with water, hooked up to life support. Brosnan's Dr. Fate says Black Adam's powers gave him nothing but heartache. Johnson's antihero then says rather ominously that he was a slave, but he was reborn a god.

Cut to some action where helicopters crash in the desert. And not just crash on their own, mind you, as Black Adam throws two of them into each other. "You can be the destroyer of this world, or you can be its savior," Dr. Fate says. Adam is seen catching a rocket in his hand with what can only be described as Flash-like speed. The rocket blows up, and he emerges from the smoke. This little sequence also includes a moment of levity as Johnson's character lands in the desert near a car with two people in it, and they slowly crank up their windows. The rocket ultimately explodes just far away enough from their car to keep them safe.

More action follows as someone tries to hit Adam with a metal pole, but it simply bends on his head, in a demonstration of his strength. We get a wide shot of a town on a shore, and an unfortunate soul gets hurled out into the ocean. We also get a moment where Adam lifts off the ground wearing a black cape and hood, much like what we saw in the DC FanDome trailer, and a bunch of guys shoot at him. The many bullets hit Johnson in the back and, in this moment, we can see that he definitely has Superman-style powers because he doesn't react.

Additionally, we get a bit of Hodge as Hawkman and some of the other heroes, but it's brief. There was one particularly noteworthy shot of Dr. Fate mid-air, and the air seems to turn into mirrors around him, seemingly taking a page out of Doctor Strange's book. The big button on the whole thing is when our main character responds to the line, "Superheroes don't kill people" with a simple yet telling, "Well, I do." He may have powers like Superman, but he is not Superman.

If everything goes according to plan, you can expect "Black Adam" to change the hierarchy of power of the DC universe on October 21, 2022. After that? Who knows, maybe he'll fight Shazam, or maybe he'll take down Superman.