Black Adam star Mohammed Amer touches upon how the DCEU movie, which stars Dwayne Johnson as the titular character, will include real-world politics. While the DCEU has had its ups and downs in the last few years, one of the longest-developed films is finally hitting theaters this year. Nearly a decade ago, Johnson was cast as Black Adam in Warner Bros.’ ongoing DCEU, and he almost appeared in the Shazam! movie before getting his own standalone film.
The highly anticipated DC film will explore Teth-Adam’s brutal origin story that takes him down the path to becoming one of the universe’s most powerful players. While many know Black Adam as Shazam’s greatest enemy, Johnson’s iteration will be reimagined as an anti-hero, something the franchise doesn’t have many of as of right now. As Black Adam goes from being a Kahndaq slave to becoming a mighty god, it will also see him clash with the Justice Society of America, the Golden Age team that predates the Justice League. Johnson’s player will also take on the DC foe Ishmael Gregor, a.k.a. Sabbac, who was just revealed in the final Black Adam trailer.
As much as Black Adam is a massive comic book film, the DCEU product will also do social commentary. Screen Rant recently attended a Black Adam press event with stars from the film present to chat about the upcoming movie. One of the cast members that attended was Amer, who is playing Adrianna Tomaz’s (Sarah Shahi) brother, Karim, and he spoke about how he personally loves the story of Black Adam. During the interview, the Palestinian-American actor explained that the film does touch upon real-world politics, especially because of Kahndaq, which is a fictional Middle Eastern-based country:
I personally love the story. All superheroes are based off [of] super rationality, super prophetic understanding. There’s the orphan, there’s the kid that’s lost and finds his way that becomes champion, and this is similar, but yet very different. [Kahndaq] is also a country that is a fictionalized Middle East. That’s something we’ve never seen before. When you talk about global politics and what exists today, it’s very fascinating to see how this film could come to light after so many years of misunderstanding and not knowing what the global landscape is, and [this] makes [Black Adam] substantially different.
With Amer’s comments, it makes sense for Black Adam to reflect upon real-world politics, especially in the Middle Eastern setting. Part of Black Adam’s origin story is how he was a slave, and the suffering he had to endure before getting his powers. The trailers have also shown glimpses of the tragedy that he has experienced during his life in Kahndaq, including losing his son. Given how Middle Eastern culture has been presented in various media, a lot of times through problematic perspectives, Amer’s statement about how Black Adam is tackling those political aspects is valid, as there isn’t a lot of Middle Eastern representation, especially in superhero media.
It would almost be impossible for Black Adam not to touch upon politics in the real world related to the Middle East. Whether Johnson’s upcoming DCEU movie is doing that through allusions that are similar to ongoing issues or pulling directly from today’s political climate remains to be seen. Had the film not done it at all, it would have been a massive oversight, because having stories set in the Middle East, even if in a fictional country like Kahndaq, comes with a lot of responsibilities as a storyteller. With Black Adam hitting theaters next month, it will be interesting to see what lengths the film will go to as it depicts Teth-Adam’s dark backstory.