AN ANCIENT ANTI-SUPERHERO “BLACK ADAM”
Cinema Writer/Film Critic Efe TEKSOY; wrote the fantastic, adventure and action film “BLACK ADAM” for America’s Los Angeles based Internet Newspaper @alaturkanews.
POWER BORN FROM RAGE
DC Films, New Line Cinema, and Seven Bucks/Flynn Picture Co. making Black Adam topped the USA box office with a gross of $67 million in its first weekend in the US. Warner Bros. Pictures undertakes the worldwide distribution of the film, which has a production budget of $ 200 million. Dwayne (The Rock) Johnson, the beloved actor of action movies, takes the lead role and also produces the film with his company, Seven Buck. Jaume Collet-Serra is the director of the production, which is based on DC characters created by American comic book artists Bill Parker and C.C. Beck. In the behind-the-scenes creative team; Alongside Oscar-nominated cinematographer Lawrence Sher are Oscar-winning visual effects supervisor Bill Westenhofer and Grammy-winning Scottish composer Lorne Balfe.Although Black Adam, the 11th movie in the DC Extended Universe, approaches the superhero myth within the framework of Anti-Hero, it contains positive messages that will keep the young audience on the right path. In the subtext of the production, the French sociologist Émile Durkheim, one of the founders of modern social science, makes a social critique by underlining the term anomie, which means irregular. Superhero movies are about character maturation and deal with the hero myth where the hero’s Oedipal “inner journey” takes place. In this project, too, we learn the origin story of Black Adam, and throughout the entire film, we have the opportunity to get to know him closely by understanding why he is different from other heroes.
ANCIENT HERO TETH ADAM
In the movie, we see Teth Adam, who was a slave in Ancient Kahndaq 5,000 years ago, transformed into Black Adam by the gods granting ancient powers. Through the character who spreads his dark sense of justice to the world by using his powers for revenge; supernatural phenomena are shown to the viewer within the framework of the mythological narrative that connects individuals to their culture, such as creation and the origin of man. Myths in general contain a sacred dimension and are tools in our constant struggle to make our experiences intelligible. Mircea Eliade, a professor of the history of religions, phenomenologist and philosopher known for his studies on the manifestations of divinity in traditional and modern societies, divides the sphere of existence into two as sacred and worldly. These; The worldly sphere, which includes the world of rationalism, empiricism and science, and also divine feelings, the supernatural and irrational aspects of life, and the sacred space that shows the existence of divine power. In the movie Black Adam, it is seen that Eliade proceeds through the sanctuary he mentioned, and the supernatural and fantastic elements are discussed in a mythological perspective.
TOPIC OF THE FILM
Gaining power equal to the might of the Egyptian gods and then imprisoned, Black Adam wakes up today after 5000 years of captivity and is freed from his chains. Freed from his earthly grave, the anti-hero is ready to bring his unique form of justice to the modern world.
Stars; Dwayne Johnson, Aldis Hodge, Pierce Brosnan, Noah Centineo, Sarah Shahi, Quintessa Swindell, Marwan Kenzari, Bodhi Sabongui, Mohammed Amer, Odelya Halevi, Jennifer Holland and Henry Winkler.
DESIGN OF THE BLACK ADAM WORLD
Filming began in the first months of 2021, but the production team’s work stretches back to 2019. Visual Effects Director Bill Westenhofer and designer Tom Meyer started out quite early on how to portray the world of Black Adam on the big screen. Meyer states that while designing Kahndaq, which has undergone various occupations and destructions for 5000 years, he was particularly impressed and inspired by the coexistence of ancient ruins with modern structures in today’s Rome. The shooting of the scenes set in the fictional Middle Eastern country of Kahndaq coincided with the record-breaking hot days of summer, which was a bit of a challenge for the team, but it was also a surprise that added originality to the film. The director praises that the production team, which consists of experienced and talented names, successfully completed their work despite the July heat. It is specifically stated that one detail the costume team has been dealing with is placing pads and special supports to give the superhero costumes a “super-muscular” look. It is also reminded that this is not necessary for Dwayne Johnson, who started conditioning for the movie about a year ago.
Costume designers point out that details such as the lightning symbol on Black Adam’s outfit represent events from his past. In the process of developing these designs, the Middle East collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York were a source of inspiration. The designers even developed an original alphabet for the ancient Kahndaq. In the Hawkman costume, the designers were able to work more freely, but they made the character’s Egyptian roots particularly felt. The character of Doctor Fate, played by Pierce Brosnan, was completely computer-generated, as he is a constantly flying hero. The gold hood, which the character keeps with him, is his only physically produced accessory. It is stated that Brosnan, who is defined as a complete professional, has completed the works that will transfer his movements to the digital environment without difficulty. Director Collet-Serra, whose roots are based on music videos, states that he benefited a lot from this experience while portraying strong characters on the screen.
One of the ideas that worked best in making the movie was designing a remote-controlled mini platform that could go in any direction. This robot, which can follow Dwayne Johnson in moving scenes with its cameras on it, was used in the film by smoothing the shots of the platform later. In the flying scenes, a robot arm weighing about 6 tons was used. The producers are confident that this programmable robotic system will become one of the standard shooting equipment in future films. The epic soundtracks of the film are signed by composer Lorne Balfe. “Composing the music for the DC Universe bad boy was exciting,” he says.
In addition, the musician continues his words as follows; “We used woodwinds copiously to reflect the weight and magnificence of the character’s past, while balancing them with more upbeat, melodic parts. Our heavy use of chorus in the music also harmonized with the personality and story of the character.” he concludes his words.
BEHIND THE SCENES
Producer/star Dwayne Johnson and producer Hiram Garcia are longtime friends, and fellow producers Beau Flynn and Dany Garcia were avid comic book fans when they were younger.
-Director Jaume Collet-Serra played music on set every day while the crew was preparing for the shoot. Melodies from the custom old-fashioned jukebox decorated with the BLACK ADAM lightning logo set the mood.
– Cast member Mo Amer was also trusted to share her own playlist on the smaller but still powerful stereo.
– The prototype of Black Adam’s super suit had padding in it and didn’t fit star Dwayne Johnson, who had bigger muscles of his own. Therefore, there is no need for filling materials.
– Quintessa Swindell’s character Maxine Hunkel, aka Cyclone, is a huge fan of “The Wizard of Oz” and Quintessa used that passion to portray her character.
-Aldis Hodge, who plays Justice Society member Hawkman, is also a professional watch designer and wore one of his own wristwatch designs as his alter ego, tech billionaire Carter Hall.
– Actors Noah Centineo and Mo Amer often came to Trilith Studio and spent their free time with the other cast and crew.
-Bodhi Sabongui, the youngest of the cast, learned to skateboard for the role of Amon.
– For eagle-eyed fans of the DC Universe and Super Heroes, the filmmakers packed a lot of surprises into the movie.
-Oscar Award-winning SFX supervisor JD Schwalm used copper chloride to create the blue-tinted explosive mixture from the rocket launchers seen in the movie.
-The VFX team did 800 different body scans of the main cast and background actors to place them in the massive crowds required in certain scenes in the film’s fictional Kahndaq setting.
-The robotic arm used to levitate Dwayne Johnson to fly was created by modifying a model made by one of the world’s largest robot manufacturers and assembling cars, boats and trucks.
-The fictional Kahndaq language used in various scenes throughout the film was commissioned by production designer Tom Meyer to his longtime graphic artist.
Filming Locations; It took place in Atlanta, the largest city and capital of the USA state of Georgia, and in Fayetteville, the center of Cumberland County, North Carolina. In the genre of action, adventure and fantasy, Black Adam is an exciting and adrenaline-filled production that fans of superhero movies will enjoy. Especially do not miss the Post-credits scene.