Black Adam Wants to Be PG-13 and Let the Bodies Hit the Floor

Dwayne Johnson's antihero is going to be killing a lot of folks when his movie comes.

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Concept art of Dwayne Johnson in his Black Adam costume for 2022's Black Adam, hovering in the air with lightning behind him.
Image: Warner Bros./Jim Lee

The Black Adam footage revealed at DC Fandome back in October featured a moment where a soldier aims his gun Dwayne Johnson’s hooded antihero. In a flash (not that one), Adam grabs the soldier by the throat and quickly electrifies him to the point of being dust. It’s a pretty gnarly moment that feels like a joke when put up next to Johnson’s previous claims that his character was actually a hero, and it sounds like the rest of the movie will follow suit in that regard.

When speaking to CBR about Johnson’s new heist-comedy Red Notice, Hiram Garcia (producer of both Red and Adam) hyped up how much Adam will, to be blunt about it, just fuck everyone up in his movie while still being PG-13. “We have a very high kill count in our movie,” Garcia laughed. “Black Adam is edgy, right? That’s gonna be a PG-13 movie where it was very much like, say, The Dark Knight, where that pushed the edges of PG-13. I think we do that very much with Black Adam.”

At a time when more R-rated superhero movies like The Suicide Squad, the Deadpool movies, and Zack Snyder’s Justice League have managed to thrive, you’d think Adam would follow suit, but Garcia doesn’t agree. Back in August, he told Polygon that Adam was always made with a PG-13 rating in mind. “Black Adam will give justice the way he feels appropriately and people typically don’t walk away from the justice he gives out. So we fully are honoring that.” It probably also has to do with Johnson wanting to maintain consistency with his image: since he first began doing movies, Johnson doesn’t have many rated-R flicks to his name, with the last one being 2017's Baywatch reboot.


Garcia also took the time to hype up the film’s Justice Society of America, who’ll clash with Adam throughout the film. The JSA is a beloved staple of the DC Universe, and Garcia wanted to make sure the film does right by them, even as they’re going to get their heads smashed in. A lot of that praise he puts on the actors, which includes former James Bond Pierce Brosnan as Doctor Fate and Leverage’s Aldis Hodge as Hawkman. “These are some of the most favorite characters that fans have when it comes to the DC Universe...knowing our templates of how we saw the characters, we were looking for actors that could deliver on a wisdom and a poise that came with Hawkman and Dr. Fate, of elder statesmen that you’d have of the group.”

Going specifically to Hawkman, Garcia added that Hodge “is so amazing as Hawkman and just brings a weight and an energy to this character.” The one-on-one clash between him and Adam is said to be “a lot of fun” for fans. “All of them knocked it out of the park. Hands down, once we saw them read, we knew right away these are the guys with the roles, and we’re really happy with it.”


Black Adam and his high body count will storm onto theaters on July 29, 2022.

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