Dwayne Johnson’s highly anticipated (and sort of mysterious) Black Adam film with DC Entertainment has added a new cast member in To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before’s Noah Centineo, Entertainment Weekly reports. Centineo will be joining the cast as Atom Smasher, a relatively obscure DC superhero with some comic book history shared with Black Adam himself.
Details about the film are still sparse, but it will be part of DC’s FanDome virtual event, which happens on August 22. So we can expect more information about the plot and its connections to other DC movies–like 2019’s Shazam, which only vaguely referenced Black Adam as an Easter Egg–to be revealed then.
For now, though, the comics offer us some clues about what we might see. Centineo’s character is Albert Rothstein, who was the godson of the original, Golden Age Atom, Al Pratt–not to be confused with the Atom you’re probably much more familiar with thanks to DC’s Legends Of Tomorrow, Ray Palmer. Don’t worry too much about the finer points there–both the Atom and Atom Smasher share very similar abilities, including size manipulation, and both have connections to the Justice Society of America.
Rothstein’s relationship with Black Adam was explored thoroughly during the early-’00s JSA title by Geoff Johns which featured several story arcs about Black Adam’s “reformation” as a superhero rather than a villain (or anti-hero, depending on your own moral compass). A dyed-in-the-wool idealist, Albert was at first entirely resistant to any sort of redemption for Adam, but was eventually swayed as Adam began to pressure Albert to question the JSA’s strict sense of morality. Ultimately, his friendship with Adam forced Albert to some darker, less heroic places–by which we mean war crimes. You know how those pesky things tend to happen when you’re trying to wrangle international diplomacy with superheroes and villains.
It’s unclear whether or not Albert’s story will take a similar turn for the movie, but it seems like a safe bet to start dusting off those old JSA issues in preparation for any future reveals.
Black Adam is slated for release on December 21, 2021.
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