In August, Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson announced his plans for Black Adam in the much-coveted DC Fandome event. After being in development hell for years, Black Adam finally found solid ground with Spanish-American director Jaume Collet-Serra. As the movie seems to be finally moving forward, as the demonic Sabbac has been added to the roster.
A few weeks earlier, One Night in Miami star Aldis Hodge was officially cast as Hawkman in the upcoming movie. Just a few days ago, Person of Interest actor Sarah Shahi made the headlines as reports of her playing the role of Isis in Black Adam was reported by The Illuminderdi. Now, another exclusive from them has a surprising revelation for long time comic book fans.
According to an exclusive from The Illuminerdi, the upcoming Black Adam will now feature a powerful demonic villain alongside the Rock’s Black Adam and the members of the Justice Society of America. The report has revealed that Dutch-Tunisian actor Marwan Kenzari, best known for his work in Aladdin and The Old Guard, will be playing the demonic Sabbac.
Who is Sabbac?
In the comics, Sabbac is a moniker that has been taken by two different characters. The original Sabbac was Timothy Karnes. Like Captain Marvel’s nemesis Ibac, Sabbac is the arch-nemesis of Captain Marvel Jr. and derives his powers from the dark forces of hell.
Like SHAZAM, Sabbac is also an acronym for the six powerful beings who power Timothy Karnes. The acronym stands for Satan, Aym, Belial, Beelzebub, Asmodeus, and Crateis. These six mythological entities are depicted as the epitome of evil forces, thus, powering Sabbac with their own abilities. Like Captain Marvel, Timothy Karnes can transform by saying the magic word ‘Sabbac!’, following which a bolt of magical black lightning strikes up from the underground and turns him into a muscular, demonic villain.
In the comics, Timothy Karnes develops a rivalry with Freddy Freeman aka Captain Marvel Jr. when both of them share a foster home. In later editions, it was established that Timothy Karnes was actually the heir to the demonic powers of Sabbac, when he was kidnapped by Doctor Sivanna.
The mantle of Sabbac later went to Ishmael Gregor, a Russian immigrant. His lust for power made him locate Timothy Karnes. After finding him in a prison cell and his voice box removed, Ishmael Gregor kidnapped him to steal his powers. After initiating a demonic ritual involving murdering a bus full of people, Gregor becomes Sabbac. Later, he also kills Timothy Karnes.
Ishmael Gregor’s version of Sabbac was much more feral and demonic in appearance. He has fought the team of Outsiders and Captain Marvel Jr. after releasing a host of demons through a portal. He has also been able to absorb the powers of the Seven Deadly Sins, which was shown in Shazam!. His terrifying growth in power and size led to his fight with Donna Troy/Wonder Girl who trapped him inside Katana’s soultaker sword.
What does it mean?
The addition of Sabbac to Black Addition is a pleasant surprise. In Shazam!, Freddy Freeman made his appearance and became a fan favorite for his dry and irreverent humor. In the movie, Freddy Freeman and the rest of Billy Batson’s foster family gained the magical powers to become a part of the famous Captain Marvel Family.
As the arch-nemesis of Freddy Freeman/Captain Marvel Jr., establishing a secondary villain will add the much-required depth to Captain Marvel Jr. In the New 52 series, Sabbac was shown as an associate of Black Adam to help him wreak havoc on Captain Marvel and his allies.
In the comics, Ishamael Gregor is a Russian immigrant. With Marwan Kenzari on board, it is now safe to assume that the evil Russian stereotype is finally laid to rest. The Dutch-Tunisian actor had received praise for his role as the villain Jafar in Disney’s Aladdin (2019). He also appeared alongside Charlize Theron in Netflix’s The Old Guard as one of the immortal protagonists. He has also starred in The Mummy (2017) and Murder on the Orient Express.
According to The Illuminerdi, the casting report has also mentioned that Ishmael Gregor is the descendant of a murdered pharaoh. Additionally, he is also reported to be looking for the crown of ‘Sabbac’, which is another major deviation from the comic books. However, this can save the filmmakers from exploring the story of Timothy Karnes, the original Sabbac.
While no official confirmation has been received from Warner Bros., the addition of Marwan Kenzari is a pleasant surprise for this upcoming origin story of Black Adam.
Black Adam currently does not have any release date scheduled due to the ongoing CoVID-19 pandemic.