In March word broke that Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson was eyeing up a role in a DC Comics film. At the time, Johnson laid down a number of criteria for the type of role he would accept, with many pundits noting how similar to the character of Lobo, a character Johnson had discussed playing on his Twitter account in 2012. Since that time, plans for a Lobo movie have been shelved and un-shelved numerous times, and the project is thought to currently be dead, at least as a stand-alone.
Talk of Johnson playing a different character in the DC Universe, however, has become rampant this week following the announcement of a Zack Snyder-helmed Justice League movie. Buried in that announcement was the tidbit that up to nine total DC films may be in development at Warner Brothers, with the inclusion of a Shazam movie dawing particular interest.
In the past Johnson has called Shazam’s nemesis, Black Adam, one of his favorite comic book characters. Black Adam would also fit the criteria Rock set down for any potential roles, and a Shazam stand-alone film could be a tantalizing proposition for WB in a post Gardians of the Galaxy world.
While Johnson might want to portray Black Adam, there are some who think there are other DC characters he is more likely to wind up as on the silver screen. Betting sites are giving odds on exactly what the former WWE star’s role will be, with Martian Manhunter at 9/4 and the villain Darkseid at 5/2 both favored over Black Adam. If Johnson were to claim either of those roles, it would seem that the announced Justice League film is where they would first be seen (although a stand-alone Martian Manhunter movie could happen if DC decides to follow the Marvel approach to universe building).
Whatever the role he plays, Johnson’s presence would bring much-needed name recognition and action-star cache to DC’s on-screen offerings, something they desperately need if they hope to make any headway against Marvel in the cinematic race for comics fans’ pocketbooks. The two parties have been flirting for years at this point, with projects being dropped and revived time and again, yet this time seems different. With Batman vs Superman and The Justice League confirmed, it seems like DC and Warner Brothers have figured out their long-term plans, and it seems almost certain that they include The Rock.