BEVERLY HILLS, California — Approached about two roles in the upcoming superhero movie "Shazam," Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson last month issued a challenge to fans of the comic: Should he play the heroic Captain Marvel, wielder of vast magical powers, or the villainous Black Adam, enemy to all that is good and pure?
Responses came by the thousands on the MTV Movies Blog and through e-mail. And in a loud, nearly unified voice, the fans stood up and told Johnson that he was their man for Black Adam.
So sayeth the fans, Mr. Johnson. Now what sayeth you?
"I sayeth Black Adam as well," he said, a wide grin across his face. "I'm meeting with [director] Pete Segal tonight [Thursday, November 1] and we're going to talk about it."
While Johnson maintained that no deal was yet in place, and couched his answers by insisting that the role was still "up for discussion," it was clear that such discussions may amount to little more than mere formality, revealing to MTV News that they were even changing the Black Adam character to better meet the Rock's strengths.
"When you throw that out there and you guys decide, it leads us in that direction, and automatically your writing becomes different," he said. "You specifically write Black Adam for me."
Of the thousands of votes collected on our blog and through e-mail, 86 percent of fans thought Johnson should suit up in the black-and-gold of Black Adam, or Teth-Adam, the wizard Shazam's original choice for protector of Earth. In the comic book story, Adam turns evil, corrupted by his nearly absolute power, and is banished to a distant star — only to return in our time to battle Captain Marvel.
At nearly 9 to 1, was Johnson at all surprised by Black Adam's margin of victory?
"No, I was just really grateful that people responded," he said. "I knew they were going to respond either way, because they are more educated and can speak more intellectually on the character and the back story and the history than I certainly can. And I love that. I love that they were so vocal. ... Thank you to all the fans for choosing."
"Now the goal is just to make a kick-ass movie," Johnson enthused. "A kick-ass character."
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