Dwayne Johnson turned smart DCEU in some kind of WWE event with his promotional strategy for Black Adam. The film introduces Dwayne Johnson’s Teth-Adam to the DCEU. It also includes the introduction of the classic DC team, the Justice Society of America, consisting of Doctor Fate (Pierce Brosnan), Cyclone (Quintessa Swindell), Hawkman (Aldis Hodge), and Atom Smasher (Noah Centineo). Dwayne Johnson made a name for himself as a WWE star before turning to film and television. Now, the actor looks set to bring WWE’s promotional sensibilities to DC’s big-screen franchise.
Black Adam has had an excitingly unique promotional campaign. Throughout the film’s press tour, Johnson has consistently emphasized his motto of putting the audience first. In addition, he has focused on whipping up a potential rivalry between Superman and Black Adam, something Dwayne Johnson wants to see in the DCEU. The actor’s way of teasing the two characters’ long-awaited conflict emulates the many WWE rivalries that have arisen over the years, such as Johnson vs. “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, CM Punk vs. John Cena and The Undertaker vs. cane . Wrestling rivalry aims to further engage audiences in the show’s storyline, which is what Johnson is seemingly planning to do with his Black Adam vs. Superman teasing.
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A movie in which Black Adam takes on Superman is likely to lead to huge audience expectations, which in turn could yield huge financial returns. Still, it doesn’t have to be the end of Black Adam‘s marketing, because the Man of Steel isn’t the only one the antihero could have a rivalry with. Teth-Adam is not your typical superhero. He is a morally gray person who is willing to do things that crime fighters like Hawkman or Superman would find unforgivable. He is not one to interact well with others, and as such he tends to come into conflict with some super beings. Given that Adam is the perfect subject to center conflict with other superheroes in the DCEU. Johnson is now focused on whipping up a meeting between his character and Superman. However, if the meeting of the characters does happen, there are many other potential individuals that Black Adam could come into conflict with afterward.
The most obvious candidate in the DCEU is Shazam, given his power and connection to Adam. The hero gets his second movie with 2023’s Shazam! Anger of the Gods. With one movie and an upcoming sequel under his mantle, Billy Batson has the potential to position himself as a recognizable character to audiences, which would make teasing a fight between him and Black Adam very beneficial from a marketing perspective. The potential success of a Black Adam/Superman crossover could then theoretically be carried over to a Black Adam/Shazam! movie. The creatives behind the franchise can then continue teasing rivalries between Black Adam and other popular DCEU characters, allowing WWE-style, rivalry-focused marketing campaigns to continue indefinitely.
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The idea of an established film franchise mimicking the promotional tactics of WWE events may seem unusual, but it could be just what the DCEU needs to finally gain a foothold. So far, the DCEU as a solidified entity has struggled to connect with the public. Movies like Wonder Woman, Shazam!, Birds of prey and The Suicide Squad critical success factor. However, they are arguably mostly seen as individual projects as opposed to as part of a unified franchise. Unlike MCU projects, which have built up a reputation as an entity, the DCEU is still not seen as a true shared saga.
While MCU movies and TV shows create excitement simply by being associated with the Marvel Studios brand, DCEU projects constantly have to prove themselves in the eyes of the public. Therefore, Johnson’s new marketing approach could benefit DC’s franchise. Teasing a long-awaited rivalry between Black Adam and Superman, Dwayne Johnson adds excitement and anticipation not only to Black Adam, but for future DCEU projects. He has audiences looking forward to future installments in the franchise via teasing of bigger things down the line. With the introduction of multiple superheroes and the deeper exploration of the Shazam! universe, Black Adam is exciting in itself. Still, the DCEU has much more to offer and Johnson ensures that the public anticipates such future developments.
Next: Superman & Black Adam’s DCEU Battle Must Avoid BvS Mistake