Jungle Cruise and The Shallows director Jaume Collet-Serra might be getting into the superhero game. The Observer reports that Warner Bros. and New Line are considering the director for Black Adam, and that the filmmaker is said to be their top choice. Variety has their own report, saying that the director is in negotiations for the film and has been the top pick since Collet-Serra teamed with star Dwayne Johnson and producer Beau Flynn on Disney’s Jungle Cruise film. (Update: THR is coming in even hotter with a hard-confirm.)
Johnson has been attached to star as Black Adam for years now, working with New Line to develop the project. While the original plan was to introduce the character in this year’s Shazam!, ultimately they decided to give the two their own films.
After Shazam! hit #1 at the box office in April, Johnson took to social media to thank fans for their support and discussed the decision. “As we were developing this a few years ago, the challenges and the struggles that we were having and that was gnawing at my gut is that we were trying to tell two origin stories in one script,” Johnson said. “The challenges were, as you guys can imagine, you’re trying to tell two very big origin stories in the world of comic books of this DC Universe; two very important characters, trying to tell both their origin stories in one script. I didn’t think it was working.”
The actor says the ultimately they decided they had to “split these stories and make two different movies.” He continued, “I did feel in my gut that out of respect to both origin stories, and those who know the mythology and the back stories of Shazam! and Black Adam know that they are vastly different back stories.” At the time, Johnson said they were planning to start shooting in about a year.
Johnson’s sentiments echo what producer Hiram Garcia told us last year, when he explained,”As we were developing an actual Black Adam and Shazam movie, we were just realizing that both characters are so special that we didn’t want to compromise either of them by cramming them both into the same movie.”
In addition to Jungle Cruise, which is slated to hit theaters on July 24, 2020, Collet-Serra is best known for his taut thrillers including the fantastic Blake Lively-led shark survival film The Shallows, his Liam Neeson team-ups Unknown, Run All Night, Non-Stop, and The Commuter. Not to mention the delightfully twisted bit of horror camp, Orphan. He’s a filmmaker with a knack for nailing breezy popcorn entertainment with dark undertones, making him a pretty exciting candidate for a film like Black Adam.