Dwayne Johnson explains DC overhaul in NFL terms: ‘Not my coach, not my quarterback’

A bald man in a gray superhero costume
Dwayne Johnson as Black Adam in “Black Adam.”
(Warner Bros. Pictures)

“Black Adam” star Dwayne Johnson reflected Sunday on recent controversial changes made to the DC Extended Universe — including the decision to sideline his character for the foreseeable future.

At the 95th Academy Awards, Johnson addressed new DC bosses James Gunn and Peter Safran’s move to shelve any potential upcoming “Black Adam” projects and recast Superman (previously portrayed by Henry Cavill). Cavill announced in October that he would be returning to the DCEU as Superman after appearing in the end-credits scene of “Black Adam” earlier that month.

By December, however, the actors received word from Gunn and Safran that their versions of the superheroes would not be moving forward in the DCEU any time soon.


The ongoing creative overhaul at Warner Bros. Discovery and DC Studios has claimed another victim: Henry Cavill as Superman.

Dec. 15, 2022

“It’s almost like when you have a pro football team and your quarterback wins championships and your head coach wins championships and then a new owner comes in and says, ‘Not my coach, not my quarterback. I’m going to go with somebody new,’” Johnson told Variety on the Oscars red carpet in Hollywood.

Just days after the first “Black Adam” film opened in theaters, Gunn and Safran took over DC and immediately began gutting the studio’s existing content and release strategy. In addition to benching Johnson’s Black Adam and Cavill’s Superman, the new co-heads were also among the executives who decided to scrap “Wonder Woman 3,” starring Gal Gadot and directed by Patty Jenkins.

“All that I can do, and all that we could do when we were making ‘Black Adam,’ was to put our best foot forward and surround ourselves with the best people and deliver the best movie we could,” Johnson told Variety on Sunday.

“Our audience score was in the 90s. Critics took a couple shots, but that’s just the business of it.”

‘Perhaps these choices are great, perhaps not, but they are made with sincere hearts & integrity,’ DC Studios head James Gunn said in a statement.

Dec. 20, 2022

In December, Johnson alerted fans in a statement that Black Adam would be excluded from Gunn and Safran’s “first chapter of storytelling.” He added that the studio had “agreed to continue exploring the 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,” Johnson said at the time.


“It’s no different now, and I will always root for DC [and Marvel] to win and WIN BIG. ... I have very thick skin — and you can always count on me to be direct with my words.”