MOVIE NEWS – Senior industry insiders blame Dwayne Johnson for DC’s Shazam! Fury of the Gods and Black Adam recently.
Dwayne Johnson has been on separate paths from DC and Warner Bros. since the release of Black Adam. Discovery. But that hasn’t stopped the actor’s critics from blaming him for the lack of a new Shazam! Fury of the Gods’ ugly demise.
Despite speculation that Johnson’s DC movie was supposed to be a loss-making project for Warner Bros. Discovery, Black Adam may have turned a profit.
However, this remains debatable when considering costs, marketing and how much the studio received from the film’s box office. Nevertheless, new information suggests that Shazam 2 might have done better had Johnson not vetoed the film’s plans.
The Wrap reported on insider claims that Johnson was too much for Warner Bros. Some say he’s to blame for the Shazam! Fury of the Gods’ failure at the box office. According to reports, the actor “vetoed suggestions that we could have seen a Shazam cameo by Zachary Levi in the post-credit scene of Black Adam”. Although the scene would have linked Black Adam and Shazam 2, Johnson reportedly didn’t want any other hero to appear than Superman. According to “high-ranking Hollywood insiders”, Johnson also refused to allow the Justice Society of America to appear in the Shazam 2 post-credit scene. Thus, Safran was forced to resort to lower-level Peacemaker characters. This was immediately after Shazam 2 director David Sandberg said that Safran had decided to include the Peacemaker characters in Shazam 2. After a plan for other characters to appear fell apart “at the last minute”.
The timing of these insider claims is also interesting. Especially if James Gunn and Peter Safran wanted to deflect responsibility for the Shazam sequel proving to be a failure. Even if their involvement was limited, given that the film was developed and shot before they were appointed co-CEOs of DC Studios. However, it was reported that some executives behind Johnson had to stand behind Black Adam in Henry Cavill’s Superman cameo. So it’s hard to imagine that the actor would have had the power to control which characters appeared in other DC films.
Regardless, if insiders are correct, the actor’s blame is a typical example of the “toxic leadership” phenomenon at Warner Bros. Discovery, especially when his dirty laundry was publicly exposed.
Former studio head Walter Hamada was happy to go along with Johnson’s campaign. He supported centering the DC universe around himself as long as it benefited the company. Now Johnson is no longer with Warner Bros. Regardless of the actor’s alleged actions, there are many other reasons why the Shazam! Fury of the Gods did not perform well. Among them is James Gunn’s announcement of the DC series amidst the upcoming DCEU films. Obviously, minimal marketing and less-than-stellar reviews didn’t help much, either.
Source: The Wrap
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