Some heroes don’t wear capes; they just help their buddies don the capes they’d already worn in the past. This is a convoluted way of saying Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is taking full credit for Henry Cavill’s return as Superman in Black Adam, and he’s throwing DC Studios under the bus while he’s at it.
In a video posted to Twitter last week, Johnson shares some good news (riddled with business jargon) about Black Adam’s box office numbers and explained the story of its success. For one thing, he says, “If we’re going to establish Black Adam as the most powerful, unstoppable force in the DC universe, we have to bring back the most powerful, unstoppable force of all time in any universe. And you guys know who I’m talking about? Of course, that is Superman. And that’s Henry Cavill.” He adds, “You know, at the end of the day, the studio was not bringing Henry Cavill back—inexplicably and inexcusably. But we weren’t gonna take no for an answer.”
Johnson alluded to this situation on Instagram last month, but elaborates in his Twitter video. “This has been years in the making regarding bringing Henry Cavill back and years of strategic conversations and we were not going to take no for an answer,” he says, shouting out his Seven Bucks Productions team. “For us, there was no way, there’s no viable, logical way that you can attempt to build out the DC Universe without the most powerful force and the greatest superhero of all time sitting on the sidelines. It’s impossible to do.”
Johnson is patient in explaining this concept to his audience, as he must have been while explaining this to those hard-headed DC executives over the years. (One can almost hear the implied, “Do I really have to spell it all out for you?”) “It all comes back to ‘Where’s Superman?’ You have to have Superman in the mix. So that’s why we fought hard to bring Superman back, Henry Cavill—and there was no other Superman, by the way, to bring back,” he says. “Henry Cavill is our generation’s Superman and in my opinion, the greatest Superman. And I mean that respectfully to the other actors, especially Christopher Reeve, but the greatest Superman of all time.”
Johnson’s mantra surrounding Black Adam has been that “the hierarchy of power in the DC Universe has changed,” but now that’s equally true off screen as it is on: “And, of course, now we have new leadership at DC and at Warner Bros,” he says in the video with a grin, “So, it’s a new era in the DC Universe.”
Luckily for that new leadership, one of the era’s most bankable and business-minded stars has laid the groundwork for them to “build out the DC Universe, properly, strategically, and smartly.” It’s clear that Johnson intends to continue taking a hands-on approach to the studio’s future. There are currently a lot of visionaries in the mix over there, so hopefully, they can all gel into something cohesive.