Interview with Noah Centineo and Quintessa Swindell: Black Adam

Noah Centineo and Quintessa Swindell Bring DC Comics Legacy Characters Atom Smasher and Cyclone to Life in the Long-Awaited Upcoming black adam. New members of the Justice Society of America star alongside Dwayne Johnson in Warner Bros. DCEU’s latest cinematic installment.


This is the first time fans have seen the Justice Society on the big screen, and Centineo and Swindell couldn’t be more excited. Before black adamnew members of the iconic JSA teased the dynamic between their characters, who are DC comics’ oldest superhero team, and Dwayne Johnson’s antihero.

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Screen Rant spoke to the superhero duo of black adam, and Quintessa teased fans about Cyclone’s power and her role in the Justice Society. Centineo discussed how meeting Black Adam could change the young heroes’ outlook, and how his character Al Rothstein’s legacy plays into Atom Smasher’s meta-human aspect.


Noah Centineo and Quintessa Swindell on JSA’s Past and Future in Black Adam

Screen Rant: When Dwayne said the DC Universe hierarchy was about to change, he wasn’t lying; it’s incredible. The JSA has been around since 1940 and got its start in All-Star comics. What’s it like to bring the first superhero team to the big screen?

Quintessa Swindell: I mean, it’s amazing. It’s incredible. I’ve been following DC Comics for a while now, so I think just recently it hit me. “Wow, it’s a legacy team.” He’s a character that’s part of a legacy with Ma Hunkle, and that’s great. It really lays the groundwork for where DC can go and even adds those other JSA-like members.

Noah Centineo: And I think it’s amazing that we can, for the first time, introduce all these different characters into the DC Cinematic Universe as a whole, starting with Black Adam.

Quintessa Swindell: Come on!

Speaking of legacy characters, Atom Smasher is one. We haven’t seen its predecessor on screen yet, but tell me, what did you want to bring to Atom Smasher in this film?

Noah Centineo: Yeah. I think what’s exciting about Adam Smasher more than anything for me personally is that, number one, he’s part of this crazy cast. And being recruited into the Justice Society alongside Cyclone is awesome. Which makes it a twin dynamic between the two of them, but what I really love about him is that he’s a meta-human first; he’s not a superhero.

He is recruited to join this team, he barely knows how to use his power, but he is super strong. And so I think that dichotomy of playing with that kind of ebb and flow was really, really fun and engaging, but also showing the audience what it’s like to learn what it’s like to be a Super hero.

Quintessa, this is the first time we’ve seen Cyclone. Can you tell me about his power and his place in the team? Because power is almost that graceful dance that she does.

Quintessa Swindell: This idea originally came from Jauma. Of course, I looked at the source material in the comics and tried to locate Cyclone. Even though it was a menagerie of different people, and Cyclone is in the top corner, I’m like, “Yeah, very cool. I can shoot from that.”

But it’s amazing. He wanted her to be authentic and special, and he wanted to embody what she really stood for in the comics. When I looked at her, she seemed so bright, so fun, curious and optimistic about the world. There was such a difference between who she was – very shy as a person – and who she became when she played Cyclone. Me and Jauma wanted to create that kind of difference.

She’s very playful when she’s in her street clothes, and very genuine and a little weird for herself. And then when she transforms into Cyclone, she can fully embrace who she is. Like Atom Smasher, she is still figuring out the extent of her powers. There were elements of dance and movement that we incorporated into that; just to make it more unique among the many different heroes that can harness the wind in the genre.

There is a big theme of morality in this film. Can you tell me about when the JSA interacts with Black Adam and how their perception of being a superhero changes in their mind?

Noah Centineo: Absolutely. I mean, I think one of the defining characteristics of Black Adam is that he opens up the conversation about what’s good and what’s bad. And if it’s good, who’s good for it? And if it’s bad, who’s it bad for? And we offer two very different perspectives on this and the Justice Society.

If there’s a sequel or spin-off, where would you like to see your characters go next?

Quintessa Swindell: Yes, of course. I think Noah already got that answer, which I thought was amazing. For our two characters, see how they became the people they are right now. Watching their stories, watching how Cyclone was forced to have her powers and how she dealt with that. I think the backstory is great, but also seeing what she does after that defining moment of meeting Black Adam.

Noah Centineo: I feel the same way. That would be really cool. We’ll dive into both in what happens next, and then also how we got here.

About Black Adam

Nearly 5,000 years after being gifted with the almighty powers of the Egyptian gods – and imprisoned just as quickly – Black Adam is freed from his earthly tomb, ready to unleash his unique form of justice on the modern world.

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black adam hits theaters on October 21.

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