Want to usher in new era in DC universe: Dwayne Johnson on ‘Black Adam’

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NEW DELHI: “Black Adam” is a “disruptive” entry into the DC Extended Universe (DCEU) and to the superhero genre, says Hollywood star Dwayne Johnson.

In an effort to introduce the brawling character on the big screen, Johnson said the team was focused on delivering a different and unique movie to the fans of the genre and the DC universe.

“We all wanted to make a film that was different and unique in this world of superhero genre that has been so wildly successful over the years and has led our business for over a decade,” the 50-year-old actor said during a global press conference, also attended by PTI.

“We have tried to come in and create a movie that was disruptive, that was different. And there was this narrative that we had been saying and we were saying it even when we were making the movie, that we wanted to usher in a new era in the DC universe,” he added.

According to Johnson, the team wanted to accomplish the goal of inducting new characters into the fold of the DCEU, populated by fan favourite superheroes like Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman.

“We wanted to introduce new characters to the world, which is not easy to do. We did it with intrigue and interest and with respect to mythology and to the DC fans.

“So there was a lot to balance that I think we all took accountability for and everyone came to the table and really wanted to make a tremendous movie. And again, make something that was just different and that was reflective of all our characters.”

Directed by Jaume Collet-Serra, “Black Adam” sees the titular superhero being unleashed in the modern world, nearly 5,000 years after he was bestowed with the almighty powers of the Egyptian gods.

In the modern world, he comes face to face with the Justice Society of America, who tries to stop his rampage.

The actor said the film will appeal to the audiences on a philosophical level as well.

“Everyone has a philosophical difference in the movie, but no one’s wrong here,” he added.

As a character, Johnson said he found Black Adam a person with “strong conviction and passion for the things he believes in”. “It was surely an honour to play him and deliver him to the world,” he added.

At the same time, the actor was also excited to introduce the superhero group Justice Society of America (JSA) to the world.

“It was truly an honour to make this film and introduce to the world this group — Justice Society of America. The JSA was the very first superhero group, even before the Justice League,” he added.

With the Justice Society of America, the film will introduce characters like Hawkman, Doctor Fate, Atom Smasher and Cyclone.

Aldis Hodge, who stars as Carter Hall aka Hawkman, the leader of the superhero group, said he had a fantastic time working on the movie.

“It was fantastic stepping into this. I have been a comic book fan myself… So for me, because I know how much the fans really love the rooted nature of who this character is, it was really a responsibility to just step into the shoes and honour what they grew up with and what they want to come to see,” he said.

“And for me, I think it just really sort of reinstalls my belief and faith in being able to hope for something, be able to hope for your own personal dreams and live in your creativity because what we did here truly is something magical,” he added.

“Black Adam” also marks the entry of former James Bond star Pierce Brosnan into the superhero space.

The film came to him at the most opportune time, said the British star, who plays the role of Kent Nelson aka Doctor Fate.

“The timing was perfect for me. Doctor Fate met me at a good time in life with the years I have on me and the experience of life that I’ve lived. I enjoyed playing him so enormously and every day was a joy to go to work with my fellow actors. And we did become a family.

“Jaume created such a wonderful arena for us to all kind of do our best work and fly,” he said.

Besides playing the superhero on screen, Brosnan said he got the chance to explore the man behind the costume.

“Doctor Fate is one of the oldest characters in the DC Comics and he’s a sorcerer. But first and foremost, he’s a man. He’s Kent Nelson, an archaeologist. His entry into this world came with a sacrifice and that was of his father’s death.

“With this mythology, you have to kind of really go back to your own kind of personal self. And this is a man who sees the future, so he sees the death and the dying of the people. And when you have those kinds of secrets in your DNA as a character, then as an actor, you can bring a subtext which is very personal,” he said.

Noah Centineo of “To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before” fame plays Albert “Al” Rothstein aka Atom Smasher, a character he said comes from a pedigree of superpowers.

“And with that comes expectations and a pressure that he has on him. There’s also a sense of privilege and you got to bake all of that into who he is.

“Then he got to show up with this incredible cast and it turned into a family. So you just let it all go and trust everyone around you. Trusting your co-stars in the easiest part without a doubt,” the actor said.

“Black Adam” also stars Sarah Shahi, Marwan Kenzari and Quintessa Swindell.

Produced by New Line Cinema, DC Films, Seven Bucks Productions, and FlynnPictureCo, the film will be released in the country by Warner Bros India in English, Hindi, Tamil and Telugu on October 20. (PTI)