Shazam 2: Is Dwayne Johnson to Blame for the Movie's Flop?

Reportedly, the 50-year-old actively blocked an appearance by the Justice Society of America

by Pierre Lorenz on March 22, 2023

The latest DC movie "Shazam 2: Fury of the Gods" has only been out in theaters for a few days. The interest in the sequel to "Shazam!", which was released in 2019, has been rather moderate so far, which means that the movie will not be able to match the success of its predecessor. The Wrap reports that Dwayne Johnson, along with many other reasons, is partly responsible for the movie's flop.

The 50-year-old Johnson himself faced failure in late 2022 with his pet project "Black Adam", but he did have ambitious ideas for the DC universe beforehand. Johnson and his supporters hoped that the popular actor would succeed in making a breakthrough for the unsteady superhero universe. As we know, things turned out differently: "Black Adam" flopped and the responsible parties signed James Gunn and Peter Safran to help get things going as new heads of DC Studios. One of their first official actions was to shelve the originally planned "Black Adam 2" and completely revamp the DC universe - without any ties to the so-called Snyder-Verse.

Before the change in management, everything looked as if Dwayne Johnson would become the most important man behind the scenes at DC. As a result, he was granted a lot of say in other films. According to The Wrap, Johnson has previously prevented "Shazam!" lead Zachary Levi from making a cameo appearance in "Black Adam". He also is said to have actively discouraged an appearance by the Justice Society of America in "Shazam! Fury of the Gods" in order to make his character Black Adam the secret center of the universe.

Indeed, director David F. Sandberg already confirmed that the original plans for an appearance by the Justice Society of America were scrapped shortly before the start of filming of "Shazam! Fury of the Gods". However, he did not provide more specific details about Johnson's possible involvement. Lead actor Zachary Levi was much more candid about his anger. He shared The Wrap's article on social media and added that it was absolutely the truth.

The big question is whether all this was really the main reason why the "Shazam!" sequel flopped so badly at its release, or whether there were other underlying reasons. At least Levi went on to note that "Shazam! Fury of the Gods" had one major problem - and that was marketing. On top of that, the new DC universe has already been announced, so many fans probably don't see the point in investing their time in the ongoing projects.

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