There are times when casting announcements about upcoming cinematic adaptations of comic books are made that, curious as they are, don’t really tell you all that much about what to expect from the movie’s plot. And then there are times, like today, when Warner Bros. announced the newest cast member of its long-gestating Black Adam film.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before’s Noah Centineo has signed onto the Dwayne Johnson-led Black Adam to portray the metahuman hero Atom Smasher, a density manipulator known for his impressive feats of strength, increasing his mass, and occasionally phasing through solid objects. Currently, there are no specific details about how Centineo’s Atom Smasher will factor into Black Adam’s story, but the characters’ history with the Justice Society of America—which is also to be featured in Black Adam—in DC’s comics could provide some interesting detail.
Though Black Adam’s most well-known as a supervillain, in time he comes to join the JSA. He and Atom Smasher frequently butt heads before eventually coming to see one another as allies when they recognize they share the belief that the JSA is sometimes too lenient on the villains they apprehend. Black Adam and Atom Smasher’s increasing disillusionment with the group subsequently leads to them deciding to leave in favor of pursuing justice on their own, much more brutal terms. As time goes on, Atom Smasher comes to realize that his allegiance with Black Adam, though initially rooted in a desire to protect the innocent, leads him down a dark path that only the rest of the JSA can bring him back from.
The entire story sounds an awful lot like the sort of plot that would lend itself to Black Adam’s big-screen debut. Given that Black Adam’s more than likely going to end up being a villain meant to battle against Shazam down the line, a “good hero gone bad” arc wouldn’t be the worst way to introduce him into the DCEU. If that’s the direction Warner Bros goes, it probably won’t be long before we start hearing about just what other members of the JSA will be getting in on the action.
Black Adam is slated to hit theaters on December 22, 2021, and Centineo is still set to star in the live-action Masters of the Universe film.
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