Sometimes the hero, sometimes the villain, as a WWE wrestler in the late ’90s, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson spent as much time inciting the crowd to boo and sneer as he did bringing them to their feet with show-stopping bravado.
The more things change, it seems, the more they stay the same. Now a successful movie star, the Rock says he’s been in discussions to play both the good and bad guy in the upcoming superhero flick “Shazam” — and he wants MTV fans to help him decide which one he should tackle.
“Shazam, of course, I would love to play. They approached me about [Captain Marvel] and [villain] Black Adam as well,” he revealed. “We’ve been meeting for months. We’re toying with either one. I think it’s up to the fans. Without question.”
The alter ego of 13-year-old Billy Batson, Captain Marvel possesses the wisdom of Solomon, the strength of Hercules, the stamina of Atlas, the power of Zeus, the courage of Achilles and the speed of Mercury (the first letters of which spell SHAZAM). With these magically bestowed powers, Marvel is known as “The World’s Mightiest Mortal,” a nearly unrivaled force in the D.C. Comics universe.
Nearly, of course, being the operative word. In the comic’s internal history, the villain known as Black Adam (or Teth-Adam) was the previous appointee of the wizard Shazam and wielder of his mighty powers. Ultimately, however, the character was corrupted by these powers and removed from his own time (to reappear, unfortunately, in ours, as a foe for Captain Marvel).
The two characters are nearly identical in appearance, save for the fact that their costumes have a different color scheme. Black Adam is also Arab, and therefore generally depicted as having darker skin than Captain Marvel.
For the Rock, who could arguably play either role equally well, letting fans decide if he is right for Captain Marvel or Black Adam is “not something I would do with every role,” he said, but something he was inspired to do after attending Comic-Con this year with “Shazam” and “Get Smart” director Pete Segal (see “Comic-Con ’07: Big News On ’Iron Man,’ ’Watchmen,’ ’Star Trek,’ ’Spidey 4′ Amid Carnival Atmosphere” ).
“We went to Comic-Con a couple of months ago, and after coming back, we came to the conclusion that this particular role is not up to me, not up to Pete, and not up to the studio,” the Rock insisted. “I think it’s up to the fans, very specifically because they are passionate about the comic book, about the history and mythology [of the character]. They will be very vocal.”
Now’s your chance. Head on over to the MTV Movies Blog and let us know whether you think he would make a better Captain Marvel or Black Adam — or if you think he shouldn’t play either. Is the Rock right for “Shazam”? You decide.
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