It seems like the DCEU’s Black Adam movie is still going forward, with Adam Sztykiel hired as a new screenwriter.
The film was announced at the beginning of this year, with the intention that it would be a prequel before the titular character appeared as the antagonist of the Shazam movie. When that film moved forward in production starting in the summer, however, it was announced that Black Adam would no longer be the villain, leaving the status of the character’s solo film up in the air.
Sztykiel is something of an odd choice for a darker superhero film; he created the NBC sitcom Undateable and wrote for films like Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip and Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul. However, he also has an adult credit with 2010’s road trip story Due Date.
Shazam, set for release in 2019, is about a young boy named Billy Batson. Due to his purity of heart, a powerful wizard chooses Billy as his champion, with the power to become an adult superhero by shouting the wizard’s name, “Shazam!” As a hero he is traditionally called Captain Marvel, but sometimes is also “Shazam” due to copyright issues with Marvel Comics.
In the comics, Black Adam (real name Teth-Adam/Theo Adam) was the wizard’s first champion, chosen back during the days of ancient Egypt. He turned evil, however, and was banished by the wizard, only to finally reappear in the modern age. He eventually evolved into more of an anti-hero, which is his planned characterization for the films as well.
Actor Dwayne Johnson has been set to play Black Adam for several years now, and has described himself as a huge fan of the character.