Marwan Kenzari is in final negotiations to join the cast of New Line/DC’s highly anticipated “Black Adam” film starring Dwayne Johnson, according to an individual with knowledge of the project.
Although details about Kenzari’s role are being kept under wraps, an insider with knowledge of the project tells TheWrap Kenzari is playing the villain. It was previously announced that Aldis Hodge has been cast as Hawkman, Noah Centineo as Atom Smasher and Quintessa Swindell as Cyclone. Hawkman, Atom Smasher, and Cyclone are members of the Justice Society. Sarah Shahi has also been cast as Adrianna Tomaz.
The first look at how the Justice Society will appear onscreen came on last summer during Warner Bros.’ virtual Comic-Con alternative, DC FanDome, courtesy of two “Black Adam” teasers introduced by Johnson. The clips, which were motion-comics created entirely using concept art, explained that Black Adam was once a member of an advanced ancient civilization chosen by the Council of Wizards — the same group whose last surviving member gave Billy Batson his powers in 2019’s “Shazam!” — to liberate his people from slavery.
However, Black Adam’s brand of Justice was too cruel and vindictive and in response, the Council imprisoned him, seemingly for all eternity. But 5,000 years later, he escapes and sets out to continue what he started. This time, superheroes have emerged, and four of them — Cyclone, Atom Smasher, Dr. Fate and Hawkman — unite as the Justice Society to challenge Black Adam. See how Cyclone looked in that concept art, and read more about the teasers here.
Jaume Collet-Serra, who also directed Johnson in Disney’s “Jungle Cruise,” is on board to direct. Rory Haines and Sohrab Noshirvani wrote the latest draft of the screenplay, while Adam Sztykiel wrote the previous draft. Due to COVID-19, it is currently unknown when “Black Adam” is expected to go before cameras, but the studio is eyeing a second-quarter 2021 production start.
Beau Flynn of FlynnPictureCo. is producing with Johnson, Dany Garcia and Hiram Garcia of Seven Bucks Productions. Johnson, Collet-Serra, Flynn, Garcia and Garcia recently collaborated on Disney’s “Jungle Cruise,” which is set for release on July 30, 2021. Scott Sheldon will oversee for FlynnPictureCo. and will also serve as executive producer.
Plot details about “Black Adam” — the second New Line DC film following 2019’s critical and cult hit “SHAZAM!” — are still under wraps.
Black Adam was created by Otto Binder and C. C. Beck in 1945 as the one-time opponent of Shazam (Captain Marvel) during the character’s Fawcett comics era. Following DC Comics’ acquisition and revival of “Shazam” in 1973, Black Adam emerged as one of the DC universe’s most popular antiheroes and is now considered one of Shazam’s core arch enemies.
Kenzari played Jafar in Disney’s blockbuster live-action feature “Aladdin” and recently starred in the critically-praised Netflix feature “The Old Guard,” one of the streamer’s most-watched originals of all time, and “Instinct,” a favorite on the 2019 international film festival circuit. Kenzari gained global notice for his award-winning performance in the Dutch film “Wolf.”
Marwan Kenzari is repped by ICM.
The Illuminerdi first reported the news.