It makes sense that the guy who wrestled as the People’s Champion—with the backstory of butting heads with powers-that-be—would look at DC Comics continuity and come away with this reading of the character.
News broke a while back that Warner Bros.’ in-development Shazam movie would become a multi-part project, with a solo film focused on magically powered mortal Black Adam. It had been an open question as to whether Dwayne “the Rock” Johnson understood that he’d be playing a bad guy, someone who has killed many, many people in the comics, along with the entire nation of Bialya. But in the video below, he gives his take on how this villain can be interpreted as a hero.
Here’s a partial transcript of what he says:
“Yes, of course, Black Adam—in the mythology—is a villain. Or he can be considered an antihero. Or, to some, he’s a hero. To some who have a black heart, like me [chuckles]. Again, I love the backstory that he started off as a slave and he was held down. I think that kind of backstory—about a man who’s held down and he rises up out of that to become greater and then dealing with the conflict and pain of losing his family—it’s dark. But it also adds to the gravity and adds to the weight of the story... And it means to me, uh, he’s a hero.”
The Rock’s reading provides a solid foundation, but it’s still going to take a heck of a dramatic arc to believably transform a character who ostensibly saves the world in one movie into the one threatening it in another.