How Dwayne Johnson, producing partners brought ‘Black Adam’ to life | Inquirer Entertainment

How Dwayne Johnson, producing partners brought ‘Black Adam’ to life

By: - Entertainment Editor
/ 12:15 AM October 30, 2022
Dwayne Johnson (left) and Aldis Hodge

Dwayne Johnson (left) and Aldis Hodge

There seems to be a huge disparity between moviegoer feedback and critics’ appraisal of Warner Bros. Pictures’ latest blockbuster movie “Black Adam,” Dwayne Johnson’s first foray into the superhero genre.

As review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes demonstrates, the film’s audience score is 90 percent, while critics have given it a meager 40 percent approval rating—which apparently hasn’t affected its impact at the tills. It’s directed by Jaume Collet-Serra.


Perhaps understanding the process that went into the comic-book character’s big jump from page to screen would help explain that.

When we attended “Black Adam” producers Hiram Garcia and Beau Flynn’s press con early this month, the first question we asked them was how they approached the big-screen adaptation since the character has been around since the early 1940s.


“This is a character that we were thrilled to get off the page and put on the screen,” Beau told us. “Even though Black Adam was in prison for 5,000 years, we thought it was also important to make sure that his story would fit into today’s world. At the same time, we wanted to show the way he measures justice… to make sure that part of him is kept intact.

“Black Adam can be very aggressive, but at the same time, he has a clear understanding of morality and a moral code anchored on his own point of view. We wanted to fulfill that antihero version of a superhero, and show the true genesis of the comic book while still fitting into what a modern global audience would relate to.”

Excerpts from the Q&A with Beau and Hiram:

Can you describe your collaborative process with Dwayne when you’re looking for a new project to do together?

Hiram: DJ is an unbelievable partner. He’s very ambitious and loves bringing the best ideas to life—which makes him a great collaborator. And that is why we’ve made many movies with great partners like Beau and Dany (Garcia).

What we always look for in a project is something that we feel is really going to resonate with audiences. It has to cut through something that feels a little fresh and allow us to elevate a genre that we’re playing in and would deliver something special for the fans.

The most important thing is that whatever version of a story we’re going to tell, when audiences see it, they’ll experience a bit of escapism and wish fulfillment. Ultimately, we want moviegoers to leave the theater feeling better than they did going in. We want to deliver a bit of fun and give them some escape from whatever is going on in life. That’s what we really focus on.

Sarah Shahi (left) and Pierce Brosnan in “Black Adam”

Sarah Shahi (left) and Pierce Brosnan in “Black Adam” —PHOTOS COURTESY OF WARNER BROS PICTURES

Can you talk about how the casting process went? What was it like assembling the team?

Beau: That was probably the best time that Hiram had on making this movie (laughs)… because just look at this extraordinary cast! We have some of the great actors of our time. I mean, when we were able to secure Pierce Brosnan, that was a huge win for us… it’s a great service to a character as beloved as the powerful Doctor Fate.


Pierce was our first choice. And when we were able to talk to him, he was so excited because he said all of his peers had done superhero movies or had appeared in the “Harry Potter” films—and he had not done one.

It was also great to get Aldis Hodge to play Hawkman and Sarah Shahi as Adrianna. We had to do something really cool with the casting of Atom Smasher and Cyclone, which is rare in filmmaking these days—we not only cast the best actors for the roles, we also had them come in to “chemistry-read” together.

A lot of times, you just cross your fingers when you’re casting roles. But with Noah Centineo (as Atom Smasher) and Quintessa Swindell (Cyclone), we were able to put them together. And the minute we saw them together, we knew we had a casting homerun. Mo Amer and Marwan Kenzari are also in the cast. It’s truly an extraordinary cast, from top to bottom—and we had a blast assembling it.

This is Dwayne’s first superhero role. Do you think this is the perfect time to release something like “Black Adam”?

Hiram: Bo and I are big believers of the saying, “Everything happens for a reason.” And despite how long it took to get this movie made, this does feel like the perfect time for Black Adam to be introduced to the world. I think audiences are ready for something a little different.

The truth is, with everything that’s been going on in the world, I think the way Black Adam approaches situations, there’s a lot of wish fulfillment for audiences to see through… from someone doing things that maybe shouldn’t be done that way, but that he can do them that way anyway. Sometimes, there’s a lot of fun for audiences to be able to see that.

Beau: The world does need someone like Black Adam right now. We need somebody to come through for all of us.

Were you comic book fans growing up?

Beau: When I was young, I had a huge comic book collection growing up. I remember I had a shoebox with comics of Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman and a few other characters that I kept under my bed. They put me to sleep every time. Then, I kind of got into gaming in high school and college. I’ve always considered myself a fanboy.

What happened was, as the Marvel properties started to get acquired by Disney, and DC properties were all acquired by Warner Bros., it felt like I would never have an opportunity to produce a superhero movie. But because of Hiram and Dwayne, I was fortunate to be able to be part of this team. So yes, this is a dream come true because I never really expected to get this opportunity.

Hiram: We’re all comic book fans. I always dreamed of being able to tell a superhero story. I read them growing up. Then, once I found myself in the movies and finally had the opportunity to work on a DC character… a superhero of some sort, or an antihero, in Black Adam’s case… it was truly special because it’s something I’ve always dream about.

Like Beau said, these characters are few and far between nowadays because they’re all rolled up and segregated in terms of the studios that have them. So, for us to be able to tell a story in the DC space and introduce Black Adam and the Justice Society of America (JSA) is a privilege and an honor.


‘Black Adam’ rocks to top of North America box office

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

Read Next
Don't miss out on the latest news and information.

Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.

TAGS: Black Adam, Dwayne Johnson
For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.
Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Subscribe to our entertainment news

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

© Copyright 1997-2023 | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.