Although Shazam was one of the first projects announced to be on the roster for DC Extended Universe, the project has not gotten much steam as compared to Batman, Superman and other members of the Justice League. The project got a lot of attention due to Dwayne Johnson being attached to the project. Dwayne Johnson, on his part, as been open to talking about Shazam updates and his character Black Adam.
Black Adam is the villain of the film. In the first introduction of Black Adam in the comics, he is the Egyptian prince Teth-Adam who was chosen by Shazam, the wizard to follow in his footsteps but who unfortunately got a taste for power and got corrupted by it. The comic got a reboot and Black Adam also received a more intriguing backstory in 2011’s The New 52.
The newer version showcases Black Adam as being the antihero when he witnesses his people (Kahndaquian slaves) being mistreated. He gains his powers by stealing them from his nephew, who was chosen by Shazam to lead his people.
Johnson recently answered questions from fans on his Youtube channel to “start 2017 off with a bang.” The actor said Shazam was a “superhero” that intrigued him. He also said that he “love that he starts off as a slave, that he felt like he was wronged”which seems to indicate that the film will me using the New 52 as a basis for the movie’s plotline.
The “anti-hero” has gained momentum in the past few years due to popular characters like Deadpool and Suicide Squad which showcase characters who walk a path that they believe in, even if they are not socially or moralistically accepted by the society as a whole. Dwayne Johnson’s choice may not be everyone’s opinion but it showcases a growing trend for how the traditional bad guy has evolved over the years, and that reason may be good for a young audience who learn about the complications of human existence, even in a small part of a fictional hero.