Black Adam, Zemeckis, The Witches: Weekly Round Up

black adam

It was nearly 13 years ago that Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson first signed on to play Black Adam, in what was them presumed to be a Shazam! movie. Obviously, we know now that that wasn’t the case, and Black Adam’s appearance in a movie never really materialized. Over the years there have been rumors that the character is getting his own movie, and that The Rock was still on board, but none of these ever amounted to anything, and none of them were ever confirmed…

That is, until now.

It seems that, according to news that dropped this week, Black Adam is not only finally getting the movie outing we’ve been waiting for, but that Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson will be playing him, and that it will likely be a solo-outing focused on the character.

Truth is, I don’t know much, if anything, about Black Adam, so I don’t really have any thoughts about this one way or the other, but it was only a matter of time before Johnson finally appeared in one of these superhero movies, right? I’m sure it won’t be long before all the major stars working today will have shifted over to one of these franchise movies.

Black Adam is set to start filming in July of next year, but Warner Bros. are yet to announce a release date for the film. It probably won’t be until either late 2021 or early 2022, though. It’s going to be directed by Jaume Collet-Serra, who also worked with Johnson directing him in Disney’s latest theme-park ride turned movie (because if it worked once it’s guaranteed to work again, right?) Jungle Cruise. 

And while we’re on the topic of movies inspired by theme park rides (seriously, isn’t it ridiculous that that’s not only a thing, but that there is enough of them that they can be categorized into a group?), Disney – I mean, of course it’s Disney, who else? – are still trying to figure out how to flog the dead horse that is the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise.

Now, we may have all thought that we’d escaped the horror of having to sit through yet another entry into this particular high-seas adventure series, but apparently it seems that is not the case. And while it’s likely, although not certain, that we have seen the last of Johnny Depp’s Jack Sparrow, Disney are still eager to keep the franchise itself alive.

They’re so eager, in fact, that they’ve signed Craig Mazin, the Emmy-winning creator of HBO’s phenomenal event series Chernobyl, to co-write the next installment alongside Ted Elliot, who co-wrote the first four movies in the franchise.

Mazin’s involvement at least suggests something slighting different might be happening this time around, but the truth is this is a series that desperately needs to be allowed to die.

The biggest shame of it all is that the original Pirates of the Caribbean film is absolutely excellent and is a film I would honestly hold up as being a modern-day classic. Sadly, it’s now always tarred by the increasingly dreadful stream of sequels that continue to get shat out by our dark overlords. If we’re going to have to be subjected to yet another one of these cynical cash-grab exercises we could at least have something a little different on offer.

It makes sense for Disney to be pushing for a new Pirates movie, since its yet another established property they can use to make money. This is the same reason they have their “live-action” remakes, so they can earn off of both the remake, the original, and the merchandise, knowing that people will lap it up because… hey, if you enjoyed the first right.

Still, if we’re going to be getting remakes for every Disney movie, one that I’ll admit I am somewhat interested in seeing brought to life in live-action is Pinocchio, Disney’s second ever feature film, from 1940.

And it looks like that might very well be happening, and what’s more, that it’ll be directed by none other than Robert Zemeckis. Zemeckis seems to have made a conscious effort to return to the more child-friendly, family movies that he made earlier in his career. And giving this is the guy behind Who Framed Roger Rabbit? and Back to the Future, I’d say this is a good thing.

Disney’s Pinocchio was set to star Tom Hanks as Gepetto, but he has apparently now departed the project.

Before Zemeckis can get to work pulling the strings on Disney’s remake, however, he has to finish work on his upcoming adaptation of Roald Dahl’s The Witches for Warner Bros., which has been scheduled for an October 2020 release date.

Full disclosure, I’m super excited to learn more about Zemeckis’ take on The Witches. I’m a huge fan of the book, having ready it when I was younger, and I absolutely love Nicolas Roeg’s movie adaptation. I’m hoping Zemeckis manages to terrify an entire generation of children in much the same way as Roeg did.

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Alex Secker is a writer/director/editor. His debut feature film, the micro-budget thriller Follow the Crows, won Best Independent Film at the Global Film Festival Awards, while his stage-play, The Door, won the People’s Choice Award at the 2017 Swinge Festival.


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