Recently James Gunn buried the hatchet with Henry Cavill about his iteration of Superman not making it into the revamped DCU, instead deciding to go with a younger version of the character.
He did the same with Dwayne Johnson, who played Black Adam, though when he did so he was very likely lying and possibly only met with him in the first place because his movie was still in theaters at the time.
Because let’s be clear, Gunn couldn’t keep Dwayne Johnson around even if he wanted to, for two reasons:
Understand what Dwayne Johnson did. At that point Walter Hamada was the head of the DCEU (the DC Extended Universe), and he went around Hamada to get Henry Cavill to cameo as Superman, so how could James Gunn trust Johnson if the latter though that Gunn was doing something that he didn’t approve of?
Never mind Johnson announcing Cavill was going to appear as Superman. Shouldn’t that have been done or at the very least, approved by Hamada?
By way of comparison, that’s like Peyton Reed, Ryan Coogler, James Gunn (interestingly enough) or the Russo brothers dictating the direction of the MCU (the Marvel Cinematic Universe) to Kevin Feige.
And that doesn’t happen because that’s not what they’re supposed to be doing.
According to Box Office Mojo, Black Adam earned just over $391 million ($391,209,366) on a budget of $260 million. Using what I call the Rule of Three – simply that a movie has to earn three times production to break even, including promotional costs – Black Adam would have to have earned at least $780 million just to break even.
Though let’s be charitable for a moment. Let’s say 2X the budget (assuming that the $260 million figure is accurate), it still isn’t profitable.
So, if you were James Gunn and Peter Safran, would you want someone, known for sharpening the knife when people are least expecting it, behind you?