As the film finally reaches theaters, Black Adam star Aldis Hodge explains that landing his role as Hawkman is the summit of his career achievements for reasons both personal and cultural. The Hawkman character gets his first modernized, 21st century take in Black Adam after residing on the movie-making sidelines for decades. Hodge was first cast as Hawkman in September 2020, and after taping through the pandemic and right up to the release, the film finally arrived in theaters on October 21.
Hodge’s Hawkman leads the Justice League Society of America against Dwayne Johnson’s Black Adam in a film that features the live-action, big screen debut of several DC characters including Atom Smasher (Noah Centineo), Cyclone (Quintessa Swindell), Dr. Fate (Pierce Brosnan), and others. The Black Adam movie marks the start of a new chapter in the DC Extended Universe, dubbed by Johnson as the new Phase One. Black Adam had DC’s most successful opening night since Aquaman released in 2018 and the film has enjoyed a solid audience scoring despite negative critical reception.
While speaking with Vanity Fair, Black Adam star Aldis Hodge reflected on how important landing his Hawkman role was to him. Hodge explained that as an actor that has been in business since childhood, being cast opposite Dwayne Johnson is the product of an arduous, but rewarding journey. He also noted that the commitment of his training, which often began at 4 a.m., is matched by the quality of his Hawkman costume. Read Hodge’s comment below:
“For me, it’s emblematic of so many more things than just being in a cool film, because of what the suit represents: the hustle, the struggle, the sacrifices, the blood, sweat, and tears, quite literally, that you put into it, and what it really means beyond me, what it means to the audience, to little kids who look like me.”
The Hawkman character has a complex, elusive backstory that forks in two different canonized directions. Carter Hall, Hawkman’s real identity, is an American archeologist that was generally depicted in the comic books and films as a white man, with a few exceptions. Hodge will be the first Black actor to play Hawkman, which reminds audiences that no character has an irreversibly designated race. Hawkman, and most other comic book heroes, are malleable ideas that can be reshaped by filmmaking teams to positively impress diversity in movies and more accurately reflect the reality of the audience’s racial makeup.
DC Comics is in the process of enacting a progressive inclusivity plan, an initiative that Marvel has been accused of falling short on. Black Adam, one of DC’s most-anticipated projects of 2022, is headlined by a multicultural cast, which has been praised by Persian actress Sarah Shahi. As both Hodge and Shahi have alluded to, their characters will symbolize the further deconstruction of racial boundaries in movie making, specifically comic book movies. Hodge has hinted at the possibility of a Hawkman-centered film, which could square him as one of the new primary faces of the DCEU. Audiences can catch his DCEU debut with Black Adam now in theaters.