Despicable Me Franchise Takes A Shot At Dwayne Johnson’s Black Adam

"The hierarchy of power in the Illumination universe is about to change," Steve Carell says

Despicable Me Black Adam

Less than a week ago, the video game MultiVersus poked fun at Dwayne Johnson’s Black Adam, and now it looks like the Despicable Me franchise is the latest to get in on the fun.

“The hierarchy of power in the Illumination universe is about to change,” Steve Carell says in the last promo for the upcoming Despicable Me 4 which is currently slated to be released on July 3. Check it out below in the embed.

The promo even pokes fun at Marvel Studios Comic Con style slate reveals with 100 years of “Mega Minions” projects announced you can check out at

Dwayne Johnson and his massive ego expected Black Adam to take the world by storm. The newly installed film chiefs at Warner Bros. believed him, putting the titular anti-hero into their blossoming platform fighter MultiVersus. However, within a few months, it became clear that both the film and the game was a massive flop, with The Rock being kicked out of the DC Universe and MultiVersus being pulled from online storefronts.

Previously, according to Variety, Black Adam lost somewhere between $50 million to $100 million following a disappointing run at the worldwide box office. The movie marks the DC Universe debut of Dwayne Johnson as Black Adam and also features the Justice Society of America, one of the most popular superhero teams.

Dwayne Johnson touted Black Adam as the start of a new era for the DC Universe, saying that the “hierarchy of power” was set to change. In some ways, it did, being the first in a long line of critical and commercial flops for DC Studios. However, according to the star who was in massive denial, the failure was largely due to the film getting caught in a “vortex of new leadership.”

“‘Black Adam’ got caught in a vortex of new leadership,” Johnson said during an appearance on Hart to Heart. “It was so many changes in leadership. Anytime you have a company, a publicly traded company, and you have all those changes in leadership, you have people coming in who, creatively and fiscally, are going to make decisions that you may not agree with.”

“That will always be one of the biggest mysteries,” he added. “You have the biggest opening of your career. Sure, no China, which could’ve been maybe 100 or 200 million more dollars. You have a superhero and you want to grow out the franchise. You bring back Superman and Henry Cavill, which the world went crazy. And we created a diverse superhero portfolio, where we have just men and women of color in ‘Black Adam.'”

“It’s like new ownership coming in and buying an NFL team and going, ‘Not my coach, not my quarterback.’ It doesn’t matter how many times you won the Super Bowl or how many rings you got, you’re going with somebody else,” Johnson said.

Dwayne Johnson is certainly right that his film was certainly caught in an odd time for leadership at DC Studios. However, Black Adam also failed on its own merits, having a monstrously inflated budget akin to movies like Justice League or The Flash and not pulling anywhere near what it needed to in order to recoup that budget. It also likely doesn’t help matters that Dwayne Johnson allegedly went behind the backs of DC Studios leadership to put Henry Cavill in the film, likely souring any chance he had to work with James Gunn and Peter Safran once they came into the fold.

Rick Lemoine

Rick Lemoine

Raised on a hearty dose of Marvel and DC comics, Rick combines his love for superheroes with a knack for writing about Hollywood's brightest.