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Black Adam’s post-credits cameo was a fight, says Dwayne Johnson, but worth it

The film is full with superheroes, but Johnson was looking for a specific one.

“The structure of power in the DC world is going to alter,” Dwayne Johnson declared early in the Black Adam hype cycle. And, between clashes with the Justice Society of America and revelations about the DC hero’s origins, he wasn’t entirely incorrect. But, as the film’s post-credits sequence shows, the DC universe’s power structure, which is supported by Superman, Batman, The Flash, Aquaman, and Wonder Woman, hasn’t altered completely — which Johnson is happy with. He battled tooth and nail to ensure that DC’s current universe was given its due before smashing it up against a wall.

[Editor’s note: This post includes Black Adam conclusion and after-credits scene spoilers.]

Viola Davis’ Amanda Waller appears to Black Adam in Kahndaq’s old royal room via drone-mounted hologram in the credits sequence to tell him that she expects him to stay in Kahndaq or else. The hero of Kahndaq responds that no one on Earth can stand up to him, so why should we listen to him? Waller responds, “I know folks who aren’t from Earth at all.”

Cue the return of Superman, as played by Henry Cavill, in the big blue costume for the first time since Justice League in 2017 (unless you include new footage recorded for Zack Snyder’s Justice League in 2021). He tells Black Adam in a polite tone that it’s been a long time since someone made the world as nervous as he has, and he ends the scenario simply and open-endedly: “We should chat.”

While the sequence should excite fans about the possibility of Cavill reprising the character — and recent news implies that a Man of Steel 2 may finally be in the works – Johnson and his Black Adam creative team were under no obligation to bring back the Big Blue Boy Scout. This was a fan’s desire granted.

“It upset me for a long time that millions of people were talking and wondering and asking questions, and no one was answering the questions,” Johnson says of Superman’s inactivity. “Even if you had solutions that others didn’t like, what always irritated me was… So, stand out!” Someone needs to step out and communicate to the supporters, the people, and let them know what the plans are. Not only that, but what bothered us was that you have a guy who is a wonderful Superman and a cherished Superman, a guy who loves the mythology and understands the character so well, like Henry does Superman, and the most important thing is that people adore him as Superman…He’s been on the sidelines for five years and no one knows!”

Johnson has been trying to make a Black Adam film for nearly 20 years, but when the current iteration of the project took shape five years ago, its star was adamant that the action tie into the larger DC universe — even as Warner Bros. Pictures executives were beginning to shy away from the concept of the extended “Snyderverse” established by Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice director Zack Snyder.

This caused some friction. Not only did Johnson want to introduce Black Adam and the Justice Society of America all at once, but he also wanted Cavill to return as Superman. According to a recent story, this entailed getting over DC Films chief Walter Hamada, who vetoed the concept, and lobbying straight to WB heads Michael De Luca and Pam Abdy, who were sympathetic to the notion.

“On top of everything [the new arrivals], we thought, ‘Let’s go grab the most powerful and unstoppable force in the entire world that has been sitting on the bench for five years.'” Let us go, and let us battle hard to bring him back into the DC realm via Black Adam.’ And what about that fight? We had a fight. We pushed hard on our end at Seven Bucks; we weren’t going to take no for an answer.”

Black Adam’s post-credits cameo was a fight, says Dwayne Johnson, but worth it

They also did not: Cavill was eventually permitted to appear in the film by Warner Bros., and the sequence was apparently shot just this past September.

Does the post-credits sequence signal a shift in the DC universe’s power structure? That may depend on how well Black Adam performs in its first weekend and what Warner Bros. looks like in the coming months. Hamada will be leaving DC shortly, and speculations suggest that De Luca will play a greater role in establishing and extending the comic book universe. Cavill might return in a Man of Steel 2 sequel, despite the fact that Ta-Nehisi Coates and J.J.Abrams is currently working on a separate Superman film starring a Black actor. There’s also The Flash’s multiversal splintering and plans for a direct sequel in the works. This is in addition to Aquaman 2, which will be released in 2023, and Wonder Woman 3, which is now in development. There’s also The Batman 2 and Joker: Folie à Deux, proving that the cosmos is large enough for twin heroes.

Black Adam ends with the return of Superman and the words “let’s talk.” And it’s all just talk until someone asks Cavill to truly suit back up for scenes that play before the credits roll.

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