Dwayne Johnson’s solo Black Adam movie is moving ever-closer to production, with the DC standalone recruited a new screenwriter in the form of Adam Sztykiel (Due Date).

Traditionally, Black Adam is the nemesis of Shazam, and when it was announced Johnson would be taking on the role, it was assumed that he would make his debut in David F. Sandberg’s 2019 adaptation of Shazam, which has recently cast Zachary Levi as its lead. However, it has been revealed that Johnson’s character will not be appearing in that film, as the villain will get his own film before being introduced to the rest of the DCEU.

The standalone doesn’t yet have a director or release date, but it does now have a writer. The Tracking Board has reported that screenwriter Adam Sztykiel is currently in negotiations to write the film. On the surface, it seems that Sztykiel seems an odd choice to tell Black Adam’s dark story, having worked primarily on family-friendly comedy films such as Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip, and Diary of A Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul, as well as network sitcoms like NBC’s Undateable, which he was the creator of.

However, it’s worth remembering that some of the best superhero movies have come from the unlikeliest of places. The Russo Brothers, for example, were best known for their work on sitcom Community, before they unexpectedly helmed Captain America: The Winter Soldier, which is now regarded by many to be the MCU’s best instalment.

The character of Black Adam has been around for over 50 years, but experienced a resurgence in popularity in the early ‘00s, when he featured in the Justice Society of America comics, written by Geoff Johns. That new version of the character proved to be more of an anti-hero than a straight villain, fighting against his darker impulses as he attempted to redeem himself. In the face of great personal tragedy, however, he ultimately gave in to those impulses – it was a character-defining run, and one which many are hoping will be the arc of Johnson’s movie.

Let’s hope that Sztykiel can do the character justice.

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