For months now, Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson has been teasing on Twitter that he will in fact be joining the DC cinematic universe.
It seems that now, he's all but confirmed that he will be coming aboard with a project revolving around Shazam, Earth's mightiest mortal. His most recent tweet includes Superman, Shazam and Black Adam in it, which further enforced the rumours that he will in fact be joining the franchise.
Someone's gonna get it.. pic.twitter.com/eH7GzWxx0u
But his recent interview with Spanish news site La Nacion, has him openly stating that he is in fact in talks to jump on to an upcoming comic book movie.
Here's a translation of the text, "It's the interpretation of a character from DC Comics. It's the story of Shazam, but I can't say if I'm playing Shazam or Black Adam...In this case in particular, I believe we will do (the part) justice. I'm putting my heart and soul into this role."
The Rock was considered for the role of Black Adam way back in 2006, when talks of a Shazam film were on going. Although that project never materialised, it's great news to fans all over that this time, they might actually get a live-action version of Shazam in the form of the professional wrestler. There's still the debate as to which one of the lightning empowered Gods, he will play. But it's more likely with his rise through the A-List ranks in Hollywood, that he will be playing Shazam, and not his evil counterpart Black Adam. In the interview, Johnson also mentioned that Black Adam and Green Lantern were his favorite characters growing up. Interestingly enough, there were rumours that Johnson might actually join the DC Universe as Green Lantern (John Stewart), in case they decided to use him for the Justice League instead of the more popular Hal Jordan.
- Who is Shazam? -
Shazam acts as the secret identity of Billy Batson, a young orphan who was granted the power of the Gods. Just by uttering the words "Shazam", Billy receives wisdom of Solomon, the strength of Hercules, the stamina of Atlas, the power of Zeus, the courage of Achilles, and the speed of Mercury.
Depending on whether you're looking at the New 52 origin or the pre 52 headline, Billy is granted the power of the Gods, in both cases, he was worthy. In the New 52 origin, he stumbles upon an abandoned subway station, where he meets the Wizard Shazam. Once there the wizard explains that he's the last of seven beings of power, and explains that he will grant Billy the power to fight the dark magic of the world. With a flash of lightening, Billy becomes the Earth's mightiest mortal, and the latest in the line of mystical champions.
Now, while Shazam is the latest champion of the wizard, Black Adam was his first. Teth Adam was granted the same powers Billy was, way back in ancient Egypt. But the power was too overwhelming, and it corrupted him to the point of making him a villain. Although his New 52 origin story depicts him more as an anti-hero searching for redemption.
Interestingly enough, where as Shazam draws his powers from Greek Gods, Black Adam draws his from the Egyptian Gods. When he speaks the name "Shazam", he receives the stamina of Shu, the swiftness of Heru, the strength of Amon, the wisdom of Zehuti, the power of Aton, the courage of Mehen.
The character was created in 1939 by CC Beck and Bill Parker, and first appeared in Whiz Comics #2 (February 1940) which was published by Fawcett Comics. In the 1940's the character was so popular that he even outsold Superman for a period of time. Hoping to expand the universe, Fawcett Comics started to include other "Marvels", creating the Marvel Family. Billy's family included his sister Mary who became Mary Marvel and his best friend Freddy Freeman who became Captain Marvel, Jr, both of whom shared Billy's powers.
Fawcett was sued in 1953 by DC Comics, alleging that Captain Marvel was a created as a copy of Superman. In 1972, DC began the battle to acquire all the rights to the Marvel Family, and began publishing the comics once more that year, while acquiring all the rights by 1991. To distance the property from Marvel Comics character with the same name, DC Comics renamed Captain Marvel as Shazam with the title wide re-launch The New 52.
Shazam has always received fairly positive reactions from fans and critics alike, coming across as a kid thrown into the world of superheroes.
Variant Comics also does a pretty great video presentation of the origins of Shazam/Captain Marvel.