"You guys know me, and I have thick skin - and you can always count on me to be direct with my words."
It sounds like plans for a "Black Adam" sequel aren't moving forward at DC Universe -- for now, at least.
Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson confirmed the news Tuesday after much speculation about the future of the character ... and pretty much everything at DC -- since James Gunn and co-CEO Peter Safran took over the studio.
Johnson released a lengthy statement to social media in which he revealed he met with Gunn and it has been decided the character "will not be in their first chapter of storytelling." However, he added that DC has "agreed to continue exploring the most valuable ways" he could pop up in "future DC multiverse chapters."
Though he clearly hoped "Black Adam" would reinvigorate DC, the film's box office wasn't the success needed for that to happen. Despite the news, Johnson went on to say he will always root for Gunn, DC and Marvel to succeed and added he is "very proud" of the movie released this year in theaters, before thanking fans for all their support.
I wanted to give you a long-awaited Black Adam update regarding the character's future in the new DC Universe.
James Gunn and I connected, and Black Adam will not be in their first chapter of storytelling. However, DC and Seven Bucks [Johnson's production company] have agreed to continue exploring the most valuable ways Black Adam can be utilized in future DC multiverse chapters.
James and I have known each other for years and have always rooted for each other to succeed. It's no different now, and I will always root for DC (and Marvel) to win and WIN BIG.
You guys know me, and I have thick skin - and you can always count on me to be direct with my words.
These decisions made by James and DC leadership represent their vision of the DCU through their creative lens.
After 15 years of relentless hard work to finally make Black Adam, I'm very proud of the film we delivered for fans worldwide. I will always look back on the fan reaction to Black Adam with tremendous gratitude, humility and love.
We did great.
To my very passionate and vocal Black Adam/Super Hero genre fans - I love you, THANK YOU, and I will ALWAYS LISTEN TO YOU and do my best to delivery and entertain you.
What a helluva month - now we all need some Teremana [Johnson's tequila brand]. Have a productive week and HAPPY HOLIDAYS to you and your families.
Gunn re-posted Johnson's statement to Twitter and added, "Love @TheRock & I'm always excited to see what he & Seven Bucks do next. Can't wait to collaborate soon." When a fan followed that up by asking, "Any plans for deathstroke in the dcu?" Gunn also responded, "Could be..."
The news comes after a ton of big changes at DC in the last month, which began with news "Wonder Woman 3" was no longer happening with Patty Jenkins.
Jenkins denied reports she "walked away" from the project, adding, "It was my understanding there was nothing I could do to move anything forward at this time." She also acknowledged DC was "buried in changes they are having to make" and said, "so I understand these decisions are difficult right now."
Her exit was followed by Henry Cavill's, who just returned as Superman in "Black Adam" and was slated for future films. "The changing of the guard is something that happens. I respect that," Cavill said while confirming his departure, as Gunn made it clear a younger version of the character was a priority for him.
There are also rumors Jason Momoa could abandon Aquaman for a Lobo series, though it seems both Matt Reeve's Batman movies with Robert Pattinson and Joaquin Phoenix's Joker films from Todd Phillips are safe.
"Shazam! Fury of the Gods" is still due out March 17, followed by "The Flash" on June 16, and "Blue Beetle" August 18 ... after that, it's anybody's guess!