AceShowbiz - While Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson has reached so much in his career by the end of 2022, he isn't afraid to take a few steps back and embrace his failure. In a reflective post shared at the beginning of the new year, the wrestler-turned-actor talked about "having the guts to fail" after the "Black Adam" box office bomb.
On early Thursday, January 5, the 50-year-old posted on his Instagram page a video of him retreating to the woods while sharing an empowering message about embracing failure. "Tapping in with you with a quick thought that's anchored my success (and failures) over the years that may anchor and help you too on your journey. Having the guts to fail is far more powerful than having the desire to succeed. Having the desire to succeed is very attractive. It's sexy," he wrote in the caption.
"While having the guts to fail is extremely uncomfortable. And sometimes it's f'n scary," he admitted. "But guts over desire has served me all throughout my career - and when we put ourselves in positions to be uncomfortable - to have the guts to fail - we actually set ourselves up in a much more powerful way to WIN. It's 2023. It's our year. Guts over desire."
In the video, Johnson further elaborated on the advice that he got from his "good friend" named Inky Johnson. "He's always got great perspective, grounding perspective. He keeps it raw. He keeps it real. He said something that was really profound that I feel ties into this whole thing: … he talked about having the guts to fail," he gushed. "And the reason why I bring that back around to you guys is having the guts to fail compared to having the desire to be famous, having the desire to succeed."
"But I have found in life, that the desire to become famous, the desire to succeed will never be as powerful as having the guts to fail. And I love that, because I look back at my own life, and around every corner, and still today," he explained.
Joking about his age and comparing himself to a T-Rex, he continued, "Look, I'm a Tyrannosaurus Rex, I'm 58,000 years old, but I still have that. And that's my lead foot. I'm just having the guts to fail, around every corner. And that leads my decisions. That allows me to take big swings. Get my ass kicked on some of them. Fail at some of them. But then, also succeed at some of them. So, I will always take guts over desire. Have a great week and let's get after it. This is our year. 2023. Guts over desire."
While Johnson was being vague about the failure that he embraced in 2022, his post arrives after Variety reported that he pissed a bunch of people at Warner Bros. with his big demands, only to see "Black Adam" underwhelming performance at box office.
According to the outlet, not long after the Warner Bros. Discovery merger closed in April, the "Jungle Cruise" star directly pitched CEO David Zaslav on a multiyear plan for Black Adam and a Henry Cavill-led Superman in which the two properties would interweave, setting up a Superman-versus-Black Adam showdown. Sources said "Black Adam" producers Hiram Garcia, who is Johnson's former brother-in-law, and Beau Flynn were also in this plan to take DC down a new path.
While new Warner Bros. film co-heads Michael De Luca and Pam Abdy eventually approved a Cavill cameo in "Black Adam", Johnson's direct approach to the studio's execs reportedly ruffled feathers internally. "Dwayne went around everyone, which didn't sit well," one of the sources claimed.
It didn't help that the Johnson-Warners relationship already was wearing thin after he pushed for a producing credit on the animated film "DC League of Super-Pets", which opened in July, but did little to promote it. The actor also insisted on a tequila bar at the New York premiere of "Black Adam" featuring his Teremana brand, despite the film being rated PG-13.
Eventually, "Black Adam" flopped at the box office, with a $391 million worldwide haul against a $195 budget plus $40 million in reshoots. "His demands increased and the returns just weren't there," another insider remarked.
Thus, after James Gunn and Peter Safran took over as the heads of the TV and film divisions at Warner Bros., they made a no-brainier decision to scuttle any plans for a sequel to the lightning bolt-wielding antihero-centric film.
Addressing the uncertain future of the franchise, Johnson said in a statement in December 2022, "My passionate friends, I wanted to give you a long-awaited Black Adam update regarding the character's future in the new DC Universe. James Gunn and I connected, and Black Adam will not be in their first chapter of storytelling."
Hinting that it's an amicable decision, he continued, "However, DC and Seven Bucks have agreed to continue exploring the most valuable ways Black Adam can be utilized in future DC multiverse chapters." He added, "James and I have known each other for years and have always rooted for each other to succeed. It's no different now, and I will always root for DC (and Marvel) to win and WIN BIG."