It seems Dwayne Johnson has come to the DC Expanded Universe (DCEU) at such a critical point in time. Following Discovery Inc.’s acquisition of WarnerMedia and the subsequent formation of Warner Bros. Discovery, Inc., the DCEU has undergone a lot of shakeups, including the abrupt cancellation of Batgirl just as the film was in post-production.
And while the fate of Ezra Miller’s The Flash remains unclear, Johnson’s prominence in the DCEU appears to be growing. Just after producing and voicing for DC League of Super-Pets, the actor is set to star in the upcoming DCEU film Black Adam. And while Johnson has clearly joined the DC Comics family, the actor and businessman has maintained that he will not be the new head of DC Films, a.k.a. their Kevin Feige.
Dwayne Johnson Has Been Dealing With DC Long Before Warner Bros. Discovery Merger
Perhaps, what many don’t realize is that Johnson has been working for a long time to get a Black Adam movie made. Initially, though, his pitch may not have been met with much enthusiasm as the focus had been on more prominent DC Comics characters.
“I get it from a studio perspective. It’s the safer bet to continue to invest in the I.P. [intellectual property] that the world knows. The Justice League — Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Flash, Aquaman,” the actor said.
“But it took convincing to get the studio to look past the Justice League into the DC universe, and there’s some really cool characters there. You’ve just got to give it a shot and trust the investment. Black Adam has been sitting around for almost 80 years.”
Despite this, he never gave up. “I did always feel in my gut that Black Adam was the character for me,” he said. Johnson also pointed out that it was “critical in the investment of more superhero characters of color.” “It was extremely important to me and one of the reasons why I was not letting go,” he added.
Eventually, he won them over. Black Adam also remained in the pipeline after Warner Bros. Discovery was formed.
Warner Bros. Discovery, Under David Zaslav, Is Currently Looking For Its Kevin Feige
When Zaslav took over as the CEO of Warner Bros. Discovery, he made no secret of his intention to continue the DCEU much like what Marvel Studios has done with its Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), which is already earning billions of dollars. And it starts with bringing in someone who can function as DC Films’ Feige.
“You look at Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman — these are brands that are known everywhere in the world,” Zaslav told investors just days after canceling Batgirl. “We have done a reset. We’ve restructured the business where we are going to focus, where there is going to be a team with a 10-year plan focusing just on DC.”
And with the newly formed company committed to slashing its estimated $50 billion debt and the continuous layoffs, would anyone agree to take the role? “Zaslav doesn’t know what he doesn’t know. That’s scary,” one talent representative said.
“And you’re always going to be compared to Marvel. It’s unfair. By the time they were being judged, it was working. It’s the exact opposite at Warner. It’s rough all around. Who the f*** would want that job?”
The Rock Says DC Comics Is ‘In My Blood,’ But He Won’t Take Top DC Films Job
And as the company continues to search for new leadership, Johnson has also made it clear that there is no way he’s taking the job even if they offer it to him. In other words, there’s no way he’s going to be Warner Bros. Discovery’s answer to Feige. That said, Johnson is willing to offer his assistance in any way possible.
“The best position that I could be for DC is one as an advisor, where I can help. I love DC. It’s in my blood,” the actor said. “In the spirit of growing up with the DC Universe. I’m here to help in any way I can, including looking for and finding that right leader or leaders.”
He Is Also Open To Doing A DC-Marvel Crossover
DC Comics and Marvel may live in separate worlds, but Johnson believes it doesn’t have to be like that forever. That said, the actor also knows that there are higher powers that need to sign off to make this happen.
“Let’s get a temperature gauge if they’d like to see something like that. And then if they do, then let’s create it,” Johnson said. “I operate my businesses like that. I truly believe that anything can happen. Anything can happen with the right people and place, and the right leadership, having the right conversations.”
For now, he’s just staying positive about the future. “Well, I’m always optimistic. I’d like to think that we would see that,” Johnson said. “My philosophy is anything can get done. Let’s start with the end goal. And if the end goal is to have some sort of crossover that can be compelling, smart, cool for the fans.”
On the other hand, reports have emerged that James Gunn is in talks to return to DC Films for at least one more project following his work on The Suicide Squad and Peacemaker. In some ways, a crossover is happening.
The #ManInBlack is knockin’ and ready.Are you?\u26a1\ufe0fNEW #BlackAdam trailer TODAY @ 5pm PT\u26a1\ufe0f @wbpictures @DCComics @SevenBucksProd@flynnpictureco pic.twitter.com/jg6aD8Wwba— Dwayne Johnson (@TheRock) September 8, 2022
New behind the scene image of @TheRock as #BlackAdamIn theatres October 21 \ud83c\udf0e. pic.twitter.com/OsUK6thq5T— The DC Syndicate | #BlackAdam\u26a1 Oct 21 \ud83c\udf0e (@TheDC_Syndicate) October 18, 2022