It is starting to feel like the rest of the world is finally catching up with you, our Outposters. For almost our entire existence as a sane oasis of movie fandom online, down there in the Disqus you have all been very clear about the issues at Lucasfilm and who is responsible. Now articles from even high-brow publications like Forbes are singing the same tune as you all, finally. When The Flash was getting universally rave reviews from tradeshows and early screenings, you were more muted in your response. Now the reviews are more widespread, they are more mixed. The list goes on, Indiana Jones 5, the decline of the MCU, Outposters just know. They knew about DC and the Rock, too.
When the dust settled on Black Adam, and very quickly a whirlwind of comically incompetent announcements were made, along with quick retractions, changes of direction, and eventually a complete repositioning, Outposters knew it again. They very quickly pointed to the issue being a rather large ego at the center of all things. Again, reports are now catching up with you all. The scuttlebutt out there in internet land is that, indeed, it was Dwayne Johnson pressuring DC Studios on creative decisions that caused this issue to explode.
Shazam is the traditional rival to Black Adam. Apparently, DC wanted this crossover to have the groundwork laid via post-credits scenes and hints, as is traditional for this type of movie. Johnson refused, instead pushing on for a confrontation with Superman and the shifting of “the hierarchy of power” in the DC Universe. This left a bad taste at DC. An unnamed Warner Bros. executive was quoted at the time in The Wrap as saying:
“Dwayne tries to sell himself as bigger than the movie, instead of making a movie, he wants to extend his brand and make a brand centered on himself.”
In a blaze of publicity, a post-credits scene featuring Henry Cavill’s Superman was revealed, while Cavill and Johnson were seemingly cemented at the center of the continuing DCEU. Behind the scenes, some at DC were fuming. Why was Shazam excluded, despite his place in the lore? And who the hell did Johnson think he was? Poor Cavill was simply caught in the crossfire, always trying to do the right thing for Superman and the wider DCEU.
Then Black Adam cratered. When Shazam! was first tabled, Black Adam was supposed to co- star in that first movie and for it to serve as an origin for them both. It was Johnson who had insisted on a solo movie for his character as he hadn’t wanted to be a co-star. Johnson’s focus on Superman was held to have undermined Shazam! Fury Of The Gods, which would also go on to flop. Johnson turned down a post-credits scene in Black Adam featuring Shazam.
Just days after the release of Black Adam, James Gunn and Peter Safran officially took over the leadership of DC Studios and the stage was set for an epic about-face. Safran echoed Warner Bros. view that the cancelled Batgirl movie was “unreleasable”, they immediately cancelled Wonder Woman 3, and when they announced that a new Superman would be leading off their new DCU, it effectively pulled the rug out from underneath Johnson and sealed his ultimate removal from the go-forward DCU.
The truth was out there, and allegedly it turns out it was exactly what Outposters had been saying all along.