Sources tell Variety that Collet-Serra is in negotiations to direct Johnson in the New Line film “Black Adam,” based on the DC Comics character.
According to insiders, the film is a priority for the studio following the success of “Shazam!” in addition to the hype surrounding Johnson’s first entry into the superhero realm. As for Collet-Serra, “The Shallows” director has been a front-runner for the film ever since his work with Johnson and producers Dany Garcia, Hiram Garcia and Beau Flynn on Disney’s “Jungle Cruise.”
Johnson was very impressed with how Collet-Serra handled himself on such a large production and was surprised how seamlessly he was able to transition from darker material to much lighter material with such ease. Once production ended on “Jungle Cruise,” the decision to name him the director of “Black Adam” was an easy one to make.
Flynn of FlynnPictureCo will produce along with Johnson, Dany Garcia and Hiram Garcia of Seven Bucks Productions. Scott Sheldon will oversee for FlynnPictuereCo, and Adam Sztykiel, who worked with Johnson and Flynn on “Rampage,” wrote the latest draft.
New Line planned to introduce Johnson as Black Adam in the first “Shazam!” film, but the producing team quickly made the conscious effort to separate the two characters with a “Black Adam” solo pic.
The DC comics character Shazam, a.k.a. Captain Marvel, is the alter ego of a boy named Billy Batson. Batson can transform into a superhero by saying the word “Shazam,” and Black Adam is Shazam’s arch nemesis.
“Shazam!” premiered in April with Zachary Levi starring and went on to become a huge success for the studio grossing $367 million worldwide.
Collet-Sera is also known for a number of other big hits including “The Shallows,” starring Blake Lively and “Non-Stop” and “Unknown,” both starring Liam Neeson.
“Jungle Cruise,” which also stars Emily Blunt, is set to bow on July 24, 2020, which is also produced by FlynnPicutreCo and Seven Bucks. Collet-Serra is repped by CAA.
The news was first reported by the Observer.