Last summer it was unofficially announced that Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson was locked into play super villain Black Adam in an adaptation of Shazam! based on the classic DC superhero. Unofficially, meaning Shazam! was not, at the time, listed as part of DC/Warner Bros. slated of upcoming movies. Everything regarding a Shazam! movie was coming straight outta The Rocks mouth, with the larger than life action star voicing his excitement for the role, that he’s had multiple talks with the studio, and that they almost rolled him out to announce a Shazam! movie at San Diego Comic Con 2015 but backed out last minute. It’s been discussed that Shazam! and other DC superheroes that have been sitting in the Warner Bros. bullpen had been waiting on reception/performance of Batman V Superman and Suicide Squad. With the success, or, not so successful (according to critics) recent DC films, people are unsure of where to stand in their views of the DCEU future. It has been confirmed, however, that a Shazam! movie is moving forward and will, in fact, take continuity within the other DCEU films!
Newsweek recently caught up with Shazam! producer, Dany Garcia to see what information she was able to give to the world.
The film will be produced by Johnson’s company, Seven Buck Productions, and joining up with New Line Cinema to tackle this piece. They still plan to keep it within the same universe for things to run smoothly. Garcia said:
“Shazam! is to live in the same world [as the other films] but we have incredible autonomy over this brand and franchise. We are working with a different team, different producers, directors… it’s a differen’t set-up,” Garcia said, adding;
You’ve got Justice League, Wonder Woman with a different director, so you’re going to see different points of view. I think by the time we land with [Shazam!] we’ll fit nicely within the world that’s been created, but not such a shorthand relationship. [It’ll be] enough that people say, ‘Oh, this is within the family,’ but the culture will be a little different.”
Newsweek went on to ask Garcia her thoughts on the bad reviews and complaints of the recent DC films (Batman V. Superman and Suicide Squad).
“We don’t feel fettered by, or constrained by, the successes or failures and challenges of the other projects. That was a key component to our participation- that we be able to control the tone and the voice, and do it the way we want to.”
It seems that they more than likely have things under control and aren’t threatened by the previous media take-down of the recent reviews.
Wondering about the current status is, of the Shazam! film? Newsweek also got a taste of what’s happening behind the scenes. Garcia mentions:
“We’re getting [script] drafts in… it’s important to make sure we get the tone right for Black Adam, which is Dwayne’s part. We don’t mind taking our time. We’re being very careful with each act and scene to go back and layer in as much as possible.”
Shazam! has still yet to officially announced but is said to be shooting for a 2019 release. It’ll be interesting to see if Shazam! actually makes it to the big. screen. With the criticisms of Warner Bros last few films, the behind the scenes drama and production rushes, it’ll be a wonder if the DCEU will even make it to 2019. Plus, there is another big property in the works that, if comes out before Shazam!, could very well have Warner Bros reconsidering production. This property is He-Man and the Masters of The Universe, an adaptation of the 1980s cartoon is being helmed by Charlies Angels director McG. He-Man and Shazam are very similar, in that they are both young boys who, thanks to puberty lightning, transform into fully grown muscle-bound adults with extraordinary strength and powers. Of course, that is where the comparison ends but movies have gotten shelved or completely changed for similar reasons – Marvel’s Captain Marvel adaption changing Carol Danvers origin because it’s too similar to Green Lantern is a recent example. Speaking of Captain Marvel and property confusion – Shazam! isn’t the characters name, it’s Captain Marvel. “Shazam!” is what Billy Batson says to transform into Captain Marvel. This is not to say a Marvel Captain Marvel movie and a DC Captain Marvel movie can’t coincide because the characters share the same name but it does pose a marketing problem for general public consciousness.
All this is to say, there more things working against a Shazam/Captain Marvel movie than there are things working for it. But hey, The Rocks in it, so there’s that.