What ‘Black Adam’s Post-Credits Scene Means for DC’s Future
The following post contains SPOILERS for Black Adam. You may be struck by magical lightning if you keep reading without having watched the film first.
The rumors have been out there for months. And they are true. Superman is in Black Adam. And not just any Superman — Henry Cavill’s Superman.
And he doesn’t even have a mustache!
Cavill has not played Superman, at least not in a totally new film, since 2017’s Justice League (although technically, Cavill also appeared in Zack Snyder’s director’s cut of the movie on HBO Max last year). Not long after the theatrical cut of Justice League bombed at the box office, reports circulated online that Cavill was done playing the Man of Steel, and that Warner Bros.would look to take the character — and really all of their DC Comics movies — in a new direction. That was nearly five years ago, and Cavill has not set super-foot in another DC production.
As one might expect, Cavill only appears after the main film concludes, during a post-credits scene. In it, Dwayne Johnson’s Black Adam is still hanging out in the ruins of the ancient Kahndaq throne room. There, he has a conversation, via drone-delivered hologram, with the Suicide Squad leader Amanda Waller (Viola Davis). She tells Adam that he has her attention and warns him to stay in his “prison” — i.e. the country of Kahndaq. To which Adam replies “There’s no one on this planet who can stop me.” But of course, Waller knows people who are not from this planet.
A few more threats are exchanged, and then from out of some extremely convenient dramatic smoke, Cavill’s Superman strides into frame. “It’s been a while since anyone’s made the world this nervous,” he says, adding “We should talk.” There’s one final shot of Black Adam smirking, and then a cut to black.
Interestingly, this scene was not part of Black Adam’s original production, and was only added to the film a few weeks ago. According to a recent piece in The Hollywood Reporter, Johnson himself pushed for this Superman cameo, and continued to campaign for it even after receiving resistance from Walter Hamada, the man who has been in charge of DC movies for Warner Bros. for the last few years.
Hamada reportedly vetoed the idea of a Cavill cameo in Black Adam on the grounds that he wanted “to move DC beyond the era where one filmmaker, in this case Zack Snyder, had an inordinate amount of influence.” Per THR, after Hamada refused to bring Cavill back “Johnson went around the executive, turning to De Luca and Abdy, who gave it the thumbs up.”
Johnson has already come pretty close to outright spoiling this moment before Black Adam opened in theaters, saying in interviews that Black Adam will “absolutely” fight Superman in a future DC movie. That could occur in a couple different forms. Warners could make a Black Adam sequel that features Superman, or even a joint sequel akin to Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, which was a two-hander featuring the Man of Steel and the Dark Knight.
Or they could make an even bigger production and pit Superman and the Justice League against Black Adam and the Justice Society. That would have to be one of the most expensive movies ever made, and those two teams are supposed to be on the same side so figuring out how to get them to fight for two hours could be a stretch, but with the right marquee matchups it could be a massive blockbuster.
But really, all of that is secondary to the fact that Henry Cavill isn’t done as Superman. Warners has other Superman projects in development (including one by author Ta-Nehisi Coates that would supposedly feature a Black Man of Steel). Black Adam’s post-credits scene reveals that the world shouldn’t assume we’ve seen the last of Cavill’s version of the character. Just like in the comics (and, come to think of it, Zack Snyder’s Justice League) when everyone thought he was dead, Superman has had a surprising and timely resurrection.
Black Adam is now playing in theaters..