The cast of the Dwayne Johnson-led DC comic book movie Black Adam just found its newest addition. Sarah Shahi, a very busy actress with numerous television and film credits to her name, has joined the ensemble. But unlike most of the other newcomers to the cast, it sounds like she won’t be playing a superhero in this superhero movie.
Variety reports that Shahi has joined the Black Adam cast, playing “a university professor and freedom fighter leading the resistance in the fictional nation of Kahndaq.” In the DC Comics universe, Kahndaq is the home nation of Black Adam, a super-powered anti-hero who rose from slavery to take over his nation, ruling it with an iron fist until he was deposed and imprisoned and eventually released as a serious super-powered wild card thousands of years later. When he’s not clashing with and occasionally teaming up with other DC characters, he’s often protecting his land from those who threaten to harm it. From the sound of things, Shahi will be playing the human voice of reason who tempers the violent hero to use to powers for good (and while I could be wrong, I’ve seen enough movies to make an educated guess here).
Although it’s fictional, Kahndaq is loosely inspired by Egypt and other countries from North Africa and the Middle East. So perhaps it’s appropriate to cast someone as ethnically ambiguous as Shahi, who is American with Iranian and Spanish heritage. While Shahi may not be a famous name, chances are strong you’ve seen her before since her television credits are about a mile long: Alias, The Rookie, Chicago Fire, City on a Hill, Person of Interest, Psych, Life, The L Word, and much, much more. She’s currently filming the Netflix series Sex/Life.
And this won’t be Shahi’s first brush with the DC Universe. She voiced the villain Killer Frost in the animated series Young Justice.
Shahi joins a stacked cast that includes the ever-popular and infinitely charismatic Dwayne Johnson as Black Adam, up-and-coming heartthrob Noah Centino as the superhero Atom Smasher, and the absolutely terrific Aldis Hodge as Hawkman, leader of the Justice Society of America. And while Hawkgirl is seemingly not part of the movie, I wonder if Shahi’s character will take up that mantle during the course of the film. After all, Hawkgirl’s origin story isn’t exactly common knowledge and it’s easy to imagine a movie so stuffed with DC heroes finding space for another one.
Black Adam is directed by Jaume Collet-Serra, reuniting with Johnson following Jungle Cruise, and will open on December 22, 2021 (the pandemic pending, of course).