Dwayne Johnson has opened up about the cancellation of “Black Adam 2” by DC Studios. The film was dropped right after the studio welcomed new leadership in Peter Safran and James Gunn. Johnson told Kevin Hart he believes the sequel to the superhero blockbuster “got caught in a vortex of new leadership.”
The actor said he was confused about the cancellation because the first film was successful, in his opinion. “Black Adam” had a lukewarm reception with a $67 million opening, the best of Johnson’s career. However, it failed to gross over $400 million at the box office, so it did not break even to be able to make back the cost of its production and marketing.
Keep on reading to learn more.
Dwayne Johnson Reflects On ‘Black Adam’s’ Cancellation
Dwayne Johnson was a guest on a newly released episode of Kevin Hart’s “Hart to Hart” talk show, where he opened up about his “Black Adam” film and the eventual cancellation of a sequel by DC Studios.
The first film was meant to help launch a new era of cinema within the Warner Bros. DC Universe. This new era would have included multiple films revolving around Henry Cavill’s return as Superman and an eventual faceoff between Superman and Black Adam.
However, when DC Studios welcomed new leadership in James Gunn and Peter Safran, the situation changed, and the “Black Adam” sequel was terminated.
According to Variety, Johnson shared his opinion on why the film was canceled, saying, “‘Black Adam’ got caught in a vortex of new leadership.”
He continued, “It was so many leadership changes. Anytime you have a publicly traded company, and you have all those leadership changes, you have people coming in who, creatively and fiscally, will make decisions that you may disagree with.”
Dwayne Johnson Believes ‘Black Adam’ Was Successful
Johnson explained to Hart that he was confused about the sequel being canceled because he thought the first film was successful. He said, “That will always be one of the biggest mysteries. You have the biggest opening of your career. Sure, no China, which could’ve been maybe 100 or 200 million more dollars.”
The “Skyscraper” actor explained that the film brought back Henry Cavill as Superman, which many fans loved. He said the movie also “created a diverse superhero portfolio, where we have just men and women of color in ‘Black Adam.’”
Johnson said Gunn and Safran’s decision to cancel Black Adam 2 is like “new ownership coming in and buying an NFL team and going, ‘Not my coach, not my quarterback.’” He explained that in such a situation, the number of Super Bowl wins and rings wouldn’t matter because they’d go “with somebody else.”
‘Black Adam’ Failed To Gross Over $400 Million
Despite Johnson’s statements about the film’s success, it only performed moderately well at the box office for a superhero movie. Its opening weekend brought in $67 million, a career-high for Johnson. However, “Black Adam” eventually failed to gross over $400 million at the worldwide box office.
The film was also heavily criticized by film critics. It was rated two stars by NME, who also wrote that its “fun moments were overshadowed by the writers’ constant need to over-explain each plot point.” The review also criticized Johnson and said his Black Adam character lacked charisma.
Dwayne Johnson Revealed The Cancellation Last December
Johnson first revealed to DC fans that the sequel was canceled in December 2022. At the time, he shared that he’d met with Gunn and Safran regarding the future of “Black Adam” and that they’d decided not to go ahead with the film.
The “Hobbs and Shaw” actor wrote that his character would not feature in the studios’ “first storytelling chapter.” However, Johnson shared that his production company, Seven Bucks, would keep working with DC Studios to see “the most valuable ways Black Adam can be utilized in future DC multiverse chapters.”
The former WWE World Heavyweight champion later spoke to Variety about the cancellation and how he felt about it. He said, “All that I can do, and all that we could do when we were making ‘Black Adam,’ was to put our best foot forward, surround ourselves with the best people, and deliver the best movie we could. Our audience score was in the 90s. Critics took a couple of shots, but that’s just the business of it.”