Sources tell Variety that Darren Lemke is set to write the script with Johnson attached to star. Johnson will play Black Adam, who in recent issues of the DC comicbook, is more of an anti-hero trying to clear his name than a villain.
Johnson and Hiram Garcia are also producing.
“We Love Dwayne and have had nothing but success with him over the years,” said Toby Emmerich, President and COO of New Line. “When I look at Dwayne both off screen and on screen, he is such a larger than life character and it just made perfect sense to me that we put him in a DC comic movie. You look at these comic book characters and they have this certain swag and charisma that Dwayne carries with him where ever he is so that’s why this always made sense.”
Johnson confirmed the casting this morning by tweeting out which character he would be playing in the film.
Johnson has been teasing the idea of playing Shazam or Black Adam for sometime now on his social media sites, and some thought Warners might introduce him as Shazam at this year’s Comic-Con in San Diego. During the promotion for “Hercules,” it still wasn’t clear which character he would play.
Fans of the comics and Johnson have been waiting for this for sometime and following the reactions on twitter it looks like this is a perfect match for DC comics and Johnson’s career. It also gives Johnson a chance to play more of the anti-hero/villain instead of the straight up action hero his fans know him for.
Shazam, aka Captain Marvel, has an alter ego Billy Batson, who can transform into superhero form by saying the words “Shazam,” and then develops the powers of six mythological gods.
In the last decade, Shazam has regularly appeared in “Justice League of America” comics as well as Frank Miller’s “Batman” comics.
No production date has been set, as Lemke has just been brought on to write. But once a script is delivered, DC is likely to move fast to get the film quickly up and running .
Lemke most recently penned the “Goosebumps” script for Sony; his past credits include DreamWorks Animation’s “Turbo” and “Jack the Giant Slayer.” He is repped by UTA.
The comicbook pic could grow into a series of films for Johnson, who is continuing to add more franchises to his resume.
He already has “The Fast and Furious” and “G.I. Joe” films keeping him busy with “Fast and Furious 7″ bowing next April and “G.I. Joe 3″ in 2016.
Johnson is filming the disaster pic “San Andreas” for New Line and recently completed production on “Ballers,” which HBO has picked up to series. He is repped by WME and the Garcia Cos.
- Justin Kroll/Variety.com