September 27, 2023



Dwayne Johnson Says Black Adam Sequel Canceled Due to Studio Leadership Changes

Dwayne Johnson Says Black Adam Sequel Canceled Due to Studio Leadership Changes

Despite Johnson’s intentions to build a franchise around Black Adam, he announced in 2022 that a follow-up film had been stopped from moving forward.

In a recent interview with Kevin Hart, Dwayne Johnson discussed the canceled Black Adam sequel and attributed its failure to leadership changes at Warner Bros. Discovery. Johnson had long wanted to make a Black Adam film and spoke optimistically prior to its release in October 2022 about building out a universe around the character within the DC Films world. However, those plans were upended when James Gunn and Peter Safran took control of DC Studios and reconfigured the slate of upcoming DC projects. According to Johnson, the Black Adam follow-up got stuck in the midst of Warner’s executive shakeup and transition.

When asked by Hart how he felt about the franchise being stopped, Johnson explained that Black Adam was negatively impacted by the many leadership changes happening at Warner Bros. Discovery during its development and release. With executives coming and going, Johnson said the project got stuck in a “vortex” of differing creative and business perspectives. He emphasized that the decision to not move forward with a sequel will always remain a big mystery to him. Johnson pointed out that Black Adam had the biggest opening of his career, even without access to the Chinese market. He felt momentum was building to expand the character and franchise, especially after Superman’s Henry Cavill made a cameo that excited fans. Overall, Johnson was disappointed because he believed they had succeeded in launching a new diverse superhero universe.

Although Black Adam opened strongly and earned high audience scores, Johnson said the film still fell short of box office expectations, bringing in $391 million globally. It also received poor reviews from critics, scoring just 38% on Rotten Tomatoes.

Johnson expressed frustration that the decision to cancel the sequel didn’t seem to take into account audience enthusiasm for the movie and desire to see more. He told Hart that as people who prioritize the audience experience, he felt the potential for future films and fresh opportunities was dismissed. While respecting economic considerations, Johnson believes the audience should be the number one priority, and that perspective was lacking when Warner Bros opted not to move forward with a sequel from Johnson’s point of view.

In December 2022, Johnson revealed that the Black Adam sequel had been scrapped and would not be happening in the near future. He stated that after discussing with James Gunn, it was decided that Black Adam would not be part of the initial phase of Gunn’s vision and storyline for the DC universe. However, Johnson said that his production company Seven Bucks and DC did agree to keep looking at potential ways to use Black Adam in future DC multiverse projects down the line.

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Ralph Calaway