A JSA film may be in the DC film universe’s future. That is, if Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson can make lightning strike – and money rain – when he utters “SHAZAM!”
In previous months, Johnson has geared fans up in anticipation of his much-delayed Black Adam cinematic treatment. With the success of Shazam!, the film finally found its feet and the wheels started rolling as a spinoff. Now rumor has it that a Justice Society of America film could follow if the movie performs well at the box office. This follows a 2019 quote from Johnson on the subject: “We’re gonna introduce JSA in ‘Black Adam.'”
A JSA Film – Who Are The JSA and How Big Is This?
The JSA is the precursor to The Justice League. Its ranks boasted the Golden Age versions of The Flash, Green Lantern, Black Canary, Hawkman, and The Atom. Other members included The Spectre, The Sandman, Doctor Mid-Nite, Star-Spangled Kid, Hourman, and Doctor Fate. Even Wonder Woman was later added (albeit in the demeaning role as secretary), as well as Superman and Batman. The team had received a massive retcon and relaunch in the early 2000’s by writer Geoff Johns, officially joining the Modern Age that they had inspired. Johns swelled their ranks with Stargirl and STRIPE, and Shazam (then Captain Marvel). Johns even took a chance and inserted Black Adam into the team on a road to redemption until once again descending to villainy again following a tragedy. The JSA have made live-action cameos on both the hit CW series Smallville and the current Stargirl program.
Unlike the competition, DC films got off to a rocky start with the shared universe approach. After the disappointing numbers from Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice and Justice League, Warner Bros. moved in the direction of standalone films such as Joker and Harley Quinn and The Birds of Prey. However, Aquaman and Wonder Woman remained as part of the shared universe and were joined by Shazam!, sharing mutual success. Black Adam had been planned as the main antagonist. But given the scope of Black Adam’s story, it could not be given sufficient attention in what was Billy Batson’s origin story. So the creative decision had been made to reserve Black Adam for his own film. However, his history had still been teased in the early moments of the film.
Created by C.C. Beck and Otto Binder, Black Adam began life as Teth Adam of Khandaq in ancient times. After his family was slaughtered and he was enslaved by Vandal Savage and his accomplice Akh-Ton, Teth-Adam came to the attention of the Wizard Shazam. Entrusted as the Wizard’s successor, Teth-Adam was imbued with all of his powers and became his new champion for justice. However, the new Mighty Adam turned to vengeance and took to brutal justice to achieve peace as Khandaq’s new sovereign. The Wizard could not remove the powers from the rechristened Black Adam, so the alternative was banishment off-world until modern day, when he returned and was confronted by The Wizard’s new champion, Billy Batson.
Because Johnson’s version of the character will follow the antihero model established by Johns, it makes the route towards his membership in the JSA as assured as the team’s own film if the treatment is successful.
More as it develops. SHAZAM!