Hi, everyone. Dwayne Johnson here to thank you from the bottom of my heart for coming out to your local cinema and supporting the magic of the movies where it’s best enjoyed, on the big screen. I had a blast making Black Adam and cannot wait for all of you — the fans who have welcomed me with open arms into the DC Comics family — to enjoy the finished product. So much hard work and sweat — sweat like you wouldn’t believe from myself, my castmates, and our world-class crew — went into making this incredible film. As many of you know, I can’t start my day without a heavy-duty sweat session, and if I’m filming a movie on location, like I did with Black Adam, I’m taking the Iron Paradise with me. That’s my 40,000 pound gym, which I get to pack up on an 18-wheel trailer and drag all over this wonderful country. I’ve been hauling the I.P. around for many years, but something happened on Black Adam that’s never happened before.
My phenomenal director, Jaume Collet-Serra, stopped by for a tour and some dumbbell bench press, and he realized the Iron Paradise would work beautifully as the set for a quick scene in the film — no spoilers — where my character, the mighty Black Adam, trains in a state-of-the-art gym. The crew hadn’t started construction on the set they’d originally planned, and we all realized the I.P. served the needs of the story and characters, and so we called an audible and decided to film the scene in the I.P. That kind of collaboration and game-time decision-making are what I love so much about filmmaking. The crew worked all night re-arranging the cable flys and rowing machines and setting up dozens of lighting configurations, which rendered the equipment off-limits at my 4a.m. sweat sessions. As a team player who always puts the film first, I made the necessary adjustments and had a leaner Iron Paradise Mini — a 10,000 pound mobile gym prioritizing the key lifts — constructed and driven inside the Iron Paradise movie set. While the crew tweaked mics and cameras, I was able to bang out my pre-dawn sweat session in the I.P. Mini, its trailer occupying one-quarter of the space of the full I.P.
But midway through a sweat-drenched early-morning set of deadlifts, my tremendous director, Jaume Collet-Serra, knocked on the door to the Mini. His eyes lit up and he raced around, framing shots with his hands. We immediately knew the Mini was an even better location for the film’s workout scene, its smaller scale contributing to the story and character’s sense of claustrophobia as his enemies approach. And so I again put on my producer hat and agreed that while this would cause an inconvenience for me personally, it would be best for the film. The crew moved the filmmaking equipment into the Mini, and I had my phenomenal team back home construct the Iron Paradise Micro, a 2,000 pound mobile gym containing nothing but the essentials, and we parked that in the back third of the Mini. Early that morning, as I’m pounding out squats in the Micro, a knock at the door. It’s my unbelievably talented director, Jaume Collet-Serra. He makes eye contact with me and we don’t need to say it. We have the kind of performer-director mind meld you always hope for, which I was very fortunate to have on Black Adam. Working in the service of the story and characters, we did what needed to be done.
My team constructed the Iron Paradise Slim, a four-foot-by-eight-foot wooden crate containing one resistance band. Upon delivery, I joke that it looks more like a casket than a state-of-the-art mobile bodybuilding gym, and the guys stare at the floor. I ask again, a bit more seriously, if this is, in fact, a casket. They assure me it is not a casket. We install it under the floor of the I.P. Micro and the team slides me in. The moment before the side panel locks, a slice of light illuminates a label inside the Slim, showing that the mobile gym had been manufactured by a company called Final Rest Caskets. My extraordinary director, Jaume Collet-Serra, tells me they are inserting a rubber hose that will feed me a mass-building syrup. I suck the tube and ask what’s going on up there, telling them I can hear Jaume Collet-Serra calling action and cut, and performers walking and performing my lines. They tell me not to worry and promise to let me out when principal photography wraps. As a producer, I consider my options, sweating in the boiling dark, questioning if any oxygen is able to bypass the syrup and reach me via the straw. But filmmaking is a team sport and each of us on the best-in-class crew of Black Adam agreed to play our part and make this the best film it can be. And I know, per the guidance of my top-tier director, Jaume Collet-Serra, that the best place for me to be during production is buried deep underground, working my arms, back, and shoulders to bring the beloved DC Comics character Black Adam to life with the muscular physique his fans expect. So I keep my mouth shut and let the outstanding above-ground crew do their work. I grip my resistance band and bang out bicep curls, my knuckles scraping the rough wooden roof of the Iron Paradise Slim, working up a righteous blind sweat for the good of the story, characters, and most importantly for you all, the fans. Now sit back, relax, and enjoy Black Adam while you try to determine, like I am, who that man on the screen actually is.