Coffee Talk #638: The Case Against Dwayne Johnson as Shazam

In a recent interview with Total Film (embedded below for your convenience), Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson gave some hints on a character he’ll be playing in an upcoming movie. The artist formerly known as Rocky Maivia said that he’ll be playing someone with “the power of Superman” and also gave the telling hint of, “Just say the word.” The latter bit has many people speculating that The Rock will be playing Shazam (known for decades as Captain Marvel). For those of you unfamiliar with Captain Marvel/Shazam, he was originally a Fawcett Comics character and was added to the DC Universe when the latter company bought the former. Captain Marvel/Shazam summons his powers by saying, “Shazam!” Today’s column is about why The Rock isn’t necessarily playing Shazam,  but if that ends up being the case, why it’s a bad choice.

For years, DC fanboys have been clamoring for The Rock to play another character from Shazam’s world: Black Adam. A longtime villain of Captain Marvel/Shazam and more recently a popular DC Comics antihero, Black Adam also has a power set similar to Superman’s and summons his powers by saying, “Shazam!” Everything The Rock said in the Total Film interview applies to Black Adam as much as it does to Captain Marvel/Shazam. If you watch the interview below then you’ll notice that The Rock never said the words “hero” or “superhero” when describing the character. That gives me some hope that he’ll playing Black Adam rather than Captain Marvel/Shazam.

While I’m a big fan of The Rock, I think he’s all wrong for Captain Marvel/Shazam. The essence of the character is that he has the body of a supremely powerful being, with the heart and soul of a pure and innocent child (though his New 52 incarnation gives him the heart and soul of a childish prick). While The Rock is great at comedies and could pull off some gags based on the character’s duality, portraying innocence and purity aren’t his strengths.

Black Adam DC Comics Shazam

Black Adam is a much better choice for The Rock. He’s an angrier character. He has a code of honor, but if you piss him off, he’ll obliterate you. The Rock would excel in this role. He would be fantastic as an antihero that’s equal parts nobility and ferocity. Plus, The Rock already has Black Adam’s receding hairline (bonus for the makeup department!). Black Adam is just a much better fit for what The Rock is cooking.

It’s largely expected that DC Comics and The Rock will be announcing the movie at San Diego Comic-Con 2014 this week. While it wouldn’t surprise me to see The Rock announced as Captain Marvel/Shazam, I’m holding out hope that he’ll be cast as Black Adam. He’s a more interesting character that plays better to The Rock’s strengths as an actor. I rather see him relentlessly kicking ass as Black Adam than having morality conundrums as Captain Marvel/Shazam. Plus, I had this nightmarish vision that a producer would (force) cast Jaden Smith as the hero’s alter ego, Billy Batson. The kid sucks and needs to stop acting.

Anyway, I’d love to hear your thoughts on The Rock’s DC Comics movie rumors. Would you rather see him play Black Adam or Captain Marvel/Shazam. Leave a comment and let me know (please!).

Welcome to Coffee Talk! Let’s start off the day by discussing whatever is on your (nerd chic) mind. Every morning I’ll kick off a discussion and I’m counting on you to participate in it. If you’re not feelin’ my topic, feel free to start a chat with your fellow readers and see where it takes you. Whether you’re talking about videogames, The Rock’s mastery at “jacking it,” the Los Angeles Clippers’ legal drama, or wanting to punch people that call Lady Gaga fat, Coffee Talk is the place to do it.

Author: RPadTV