DCU fans have been hoping that a Black Adam vs. Shazam fight would be in the franchise's future, but right now it might not be happening.
The titular anti-hero in Black Adam is Shazam first and foremost! villains, which means DCU audiences have been hoping for a big fight between the two for a while now - but it probably won't happen now. The DCU has undergone some major changes recently, with new DC Studio heads James Gunn and Peter Safran changing things up in preparation for their future DCU plans. Because of this, the futures of Dwayne Johnson's Black Adam and Zachary Levi's Shazam in the DCU are uncertain, meaning their long-awaited battle could be in jeopardy.
Over the past few years, the DCU has worked hard to develop a coherent plan for its future. Zack Snyder was originally the vanguard of the franchise, but after the critical and commercial failure of the Snyderverse, the DCU quickly changed course. DC Studios started making more successful films like Shazam!, Aquaman, and The Suicide Squad, but those projects didn't really take off. That will all change with 2022's Black Adam, which Dwayne Johnson promises will impact the future of the DCU. However, that didn't go well either, with Gunn and Safran taking over DC Studios.
Waited to confirm with financiers before I shared this excellent #BlackAdam news - our film will PROFIT between $52M-$72M.Fact.At almost $400M worldwide we are building our new franchise step by step (first Captain America did $370M) for the DC future.https://t.co/GBIgsbtnkq— Dwayne Johnson (@TheRock) December 7, 2022
Black Adam Doesn't Have A DCU Future
Although Dwayne Johnson's black Adam was built to be the biggest character in the DCU, a character who doesn't seem to have a future right now. Black Adam has received mixed reviews, and there are now rumors that Black Adam 2 is nowhere in progress. Dwayne Johnson's star power makes a simple cameo or supporting role unlikely, and the character's future appearance in the DCU has yet to be confirmed. Considering that Black Adam isn't a member of the Justice League, Dwayne Johnson's path forward in the DCU is very uncertain.
Black Adam's biggest future is a fight between Superman and Black Adam, and the film confirms Henry Cavill's return to the DCU after a long absence. Even if Black Adam 2 didn't happen, it's speculated that the brawl could have happened in Iron Man 2. However, that didn't appear to be happening either, as it was announced that Henry Cavill would be recasting his return a few months later. Instead, the next Superman movie will follow a younger version of the character in what appears to be a prequel, though the exact continuity has yet to be determined.
The scariest thing about Black Adam's future is that the character might not even exist soon. The next DCU movie is The Flash, which is rumored to have a Flashpoint-style story and will reboot the DCU. The failure of Black Adam and the lack of upcoming anti-hero projects means The Flash can get rid of him entirely, erasing any trace of the character in the DCU. Whether he's obliterated or ignored, Black Adam has no future in the DCU.
Shazam's DCU Future Is Uncertain
While he's probably safer than Black Adam, Shazam could be in trouble soon. Shazam! Coming to theaters in 2023, the highly anticipated sequel to Wrath of the Gods will focus on Shazam and his family fighting the malevolent Daughter of Atlas, who gained their powers in the first Shazam! Movie. Billy Batson hasn't appeared in any DCU projects outside of Shazam!, which means he doesn't have much connection to the wider franchise. On top of that, the character doesn't have any confirmed appearances outside of Shazam! Wrath of the Gods, means Shazam's future after the sequel is uncertain.
The DCU's new plan seems to be to keep what works and ditch the rest, which means Shazam has potential! Series Reserved DCU canon. Shazam is a relatively minor character in the DCU, and his lack of impact means he could be kept without seriously derailing Gunn and Safran's future DCU plans. While Shazam may be a safer bet than Black Adam, it seems likely that Shazam's future in the DCU will depend on Shazam's success or failure! Wrath of the Gods, the character's future is uncertain until then.
Henry Cavill's DCU Exit Means Nobody Is Safe
The recasting of the DCU's Superman is big news in itself, but the impact of this momentous decision may be even greater. Henry Cavill's Superman is beloved, and the original Iron Man has a huge following. Superman is also DC's most iconic superhero, which means Henry Cavill's Superman is the face of the DCU. Despite his popularity and the fact that he's played by a beloved actor, Superman is being recast, which means no one is safe. If they're willing to recast and reboot Henry Cavill's Superman, they're willing to do it to anyone, especially lesser-known characters like Shazam and Black Adam.
Henry Cavill announced his exit from the DCU just two months after Black Adam's return, meaning recency may not be a factor in deciding who stays who enters the DCU. Black Adam just happened, but Cavill is no longer around, and Black Adam 2 may have been thrown out. So even Shazam! The wrath of the gods is not out yet, Shazam! Not long after the sequel hits theaters, the franchise could soon be rebooted. With Henry Cavill's Superman gone, anyone else could be cut too.
Black Adam Vs. Shazam Would Have Never Worked In The First Place
While some may be disappointed that the Black Adam and Shazam fight isn't happening now, it's actually not going to work in the first place. Shazam! and Black Adam are both so tonally different that the two series wouldn't mix well together in a crossover movie. If the fight happened in Black Adam 2, it would be strange for the hero to make a cameo. This may never happen in Shazam! movie, as The Rock seems unlikely to be Zachary Levi's second-in-command. On top of that, The Rock is often contractually stipulating that he can't lose games, which can ruin games.
Another big reason why Black Adam vs. Shazam didn't work has to do with the story. DCU's Black Adam is a An antihero rather than a villain, a change was made in order for Black Adam to star in his own film. However, this change means that Shazam has no real reason to fight Black Adam. While it's possible to make something up, it can feel arbitrary and clearly forced, just to make the fight happen. Black Adam and Shazam! There may be fans of them, but a crossover isn't going to work, and probably never will happen now.