Shazam Will Be Fun & May Arrive Earlier Than Expected; The Titular Hero Isn’t Cast

imageDC Films is in the middle of a course correction, after Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice had a mixed response. The second installment in the DC Films slate garnered a lot of hate. While some like the film, others were super critical about it.

Looking to make DC Films future brighter, WB started a division with the same name. DC Comics CCO, Geoff Johns, will co-run the division with WB producer Jon Berg. Now, we can really say with confidence that the future of DC Films is looking brighter and brighter. Even Director James Wan, has stated that the Aquaman solo film will be “Fun” compared to its predecessors. This probably opened the floodgates, allowing people attached to DC Films project to come out and say the same.

While speaking with Comicbook Hiram Garcia, producer of the forthcoming SHAZAM! film and VP Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s Seven Bucks Production company, gave some insight on the status of the project:

“We’re a good way into development, we’re expecting a next draft soon which I think is really gonna put us in the zone that we’re hoping for. There’s a great opportunity between [Black Adam and Shazam]. I was always a fan of Superman and his mythology as I grew up. I remember it was Alex Ross’s Kingdom Come that was the first time that ever made me look at Shazam just differently. I always knew of Shazam but I thought Alex Ross portrayed him and drew him in a badass, epic way that helped support the epic conflict him and Superman had. It just made me look at Shazam and think ‘This is a bad motherf—er!'”

When asked about fun in SHAZAM, Garcia states:

“That whole world of Shazam and Black Adam is filled with so much great potential. Our take on that world is first and foremost about bad ass fun. Movies like that can of course be grounded with real stakes but it doesn’t mean they can’t be a blast, that’s the space we always wanted to live in. We have a character in Shazam, a boy in a man’s body, having the ultimate in wish fulfillment that I think all comic book fans and fans in general can appreciate. What if you wake up one day and you can just do all this great stuff? Then on the other side, you have this force of nature who is really anchored by what he lost in his family and he’s bringing that with him throughout this journey. There’s a real grounding there. That combination of Shazam’s youth and enthusiasm while being introduced to a whole new world coupled with the dark history of Black Adam makes for a great dynamic. It allows us to not only have real stakes, real story, and real emotion, but a ton of fun in the process. There’s no reason that there should ever be a version of this story told that’s devoid of that. That’s our goal in doing this: following the path of the films that have been coming out and have done such a good job.”

He goes on to say:

“I promise you dude, we’re not gonna f— this up! My vision is so clear for this story and this movie. As story tellers, you sometimes get on projects but this has always been a priority. I’ve been carrying the Black Adam torch for so many years before we finally locked it in and I’m telling you we’re gonna knock this thing out of the park. It’s gonna be a blast and it’s gonna be a dope ride, so get ready!”

It seems like Garcia is the right man for this project and his heart is in the right place. With Dwayne Johnson playing Black Adam it’s sure to be a fun ride at the theater. While it’s currently slated to arrive in 2019, Johnson and Garcia have both hinted that it could arrive earlier.

Garcia had this to say about the film being released earlier:

“I think there’s projects that are so strong and so powerful that they have what I like to call the Moses effect where the seas part and they rise to the top,” Garcia starts to explains. “I always considered [Shazam!] of those projects. When this project is ready to go it will definitely be a sea parter where it rises to the top. It’s on us, we don’t want to rush the process. It’s a priority to get it right but once it’s right, it’s gonna be hard to hold it back.”

So, if the script is really good and everything falls in line perfectly, Shazam could jump up a few spots in line. One of the many things that needs to fall in line, is that, they need to cast Billy Batson/Shazam. Dwayne Johnson is the only person attached to star and he’s playing the villain. Our hero needs to match the physicality of Dwayne Johnson. While they haven’t cast him yet, Garcia did state they have looked at a few names.

“We kind of float some names around but nothing is locked in, right now, the focus, the sole focus is getting the story right. Getting the story really, really good and then the rest will be able to fall in line.”

The Rock is currently attached to play the antagonist, Black Adam. Shazam is being written by Darren Lemke with a director not currently signed on. SHAZAM is expected to hit theaters April 4th, 2019.

SOURCE: COMICBOOK, CB

Nate Brail

Nate Brail

Executive Editor. Lion. Geek. Friendly neighborhood A-Hole Follow me on Twitter and Instagram @NateBrail

  • Lupin

    If they’re smart, a really good hook will be to have Dwayne Johnson play BOTH Shazam! and Black Adam.
    It ensures that they will have The Rock locked into the DCEU for the forseeable future since I dont see Black Adam making as many appearances as Shazam! apart from if you’re going to undercut the character. Also I can’t think of another actor who can play a hulking mammoth of a man and still manage a child-like spirit.
    They have their Shazam!

    • David Japhet-Mathias

      Why? They’ve never looked the same. There’s no reason for them to be portrayed by the same actor.
      Black Adam is not a villain, he’s an anti-hero and he’s appeared in more than just stories focusing on Shazam,

      • Lupin

        Theyve never looked the same isn’t a reason for them to not look the same. Shazam! is not a character that is concrete according to any tome or canon. His origins and nature have been played around with a lot.
        When I was growing up I always saw Black Adam as an evil Shazam! Which is essentially what he is. It’s that simple. The story I remember is that Black Adam was the ancient champion of the gods but his greed, bloodthirst and powerlust corrupted him. They could easily make it that he was also a mortal and his Black Adam form consumed him and became his permanent form.
        Billy Batson is just the new champion to undo the mistakes of Black Adam, it stands to reason that his super form would be exactly like Black Adam, but the good side of the coin.
        It’s quite elementary imo
        The main thing to me is that the Rock would kill it playing Shazam! There so much that they can get right here.

    • SAMURAI36

      You & I usually think along the same lines when it comes to DC, but I gotta say, I’m mot really feeling this idea. I can already see the critics dragging the film, for that idea alone.

      • Steve Steve

        DC should not be afraid of the critics. If an idea is good (I’m not saying this one is) they should run with it, and time will prove them right.

        • SAMURAI36

          Just like time will prove them right about BVS?

          • Steve Steve

            Nope, that movie is bad. Perhaps the “Ultimate Cut” will redeem it somewhat, but most who saw it in theaters will not see an even longer version at home. It will be much like the 2003 Daredevil film. Most have never heard of the director’s cut, despite the praise it receives from those who have seen it. (I thought the director’s cut was a more coherent, yet still mediocre film)

            Watchmen also had a very well-received extended cut, but suffers due to its more niche nature. BvS will experience something similar to these films.

            The one advantage it does have is the ongoing DCEU to regularly renew interest. It will always have fans and detractors. The flaws are too widely acknowledged for BvS to elevate beyond it’s middling status.

            Marvel Studios success has come largely in the face of doubters. Their confident, brash nature is tremendously endearing to audiences. I don’t think DC should copy the “tone” (god I hate the over-use of that word) of Marvel, but should emulate their attitude. DC (as they seem to be doing) should establish their framework and then push their own boundaries. Suicide Squad appears to be doing that (though not particularly brash given WB saw GOTG, later Deadpool, succeed first). Aquaman appears to be the first title that will do something new, and I’m very excited to see it.

          • SAMURAI36

            I disagree vehemently, with nearly EVERYTHING you’ve said here.

            Nope, that movie is bad. Perhaps the “Ultimate Cut” will redeem it somewhat, but most who saw it in theaters will not see an even longer version at home. It will be much like the 2003 Daredevil film. Most have never heard of the director’s cut, despite the praise it receives from those who have seen it. (I thought the director’s cut was a more coherent, yet mediocre film)

            Nothing you’ve said here, bears truth.
            First, the statement about people not wanting to see the film on video is completely false. Where are you getting those “numbers” from? Aside from your personal opinion, that you are trying to superimpose upon others?
            Because I KNOW otherwise. The film is already the highest pre-ordered movie on Amazon right now. It will make more on home video, than MOS did, & that made nearly $150M. That’s a lot of money, for people who didn’t like a film to begin with. Which shows that what you’re trying to assert is the exact same failed narrative that people tried to write around MOS.
            And whether you like it or not, MOST PEOPLE LIKED BVS. YOU’RE IN THE MINORITY, OF PEOPLE WHO DIDN’T.

            Watchmen also had a very well-received extended cut, but suffers due to its more niche nature. BvS will experience something similar to these films.

            I do half agree with this. Despite being an EXCELLENT film, WM was too jarring for a casual audience, who was largely unfamiliar with that set of characters. It was niche, but that doesn’t negate it being a great film. It was visually stunning, the fight scenes were amazing, & it remained faithful to the source material.
            My last statement is true for BVS as well, except it’s not “niche” in the slightest. These characters are THE most popular & iconic EVER.

            The one advantage it does have is the ongoing DCEU to regularly renew interest. It will always have fans and detractors. The flaws are too widely acknowledged for BvS to elevate beyond its middling status.

            This is false as well, & I will demonstrate why below. In the meantime, I shudder to think what you DC haters would be saying right now, had BVS made $1B like it should have, while still being the exact same film that it is. I’d love to see your heads spin around, Exorcist-style, & the excuses you’d make. But, C’est La Vie.

            Marvel Studios success has come largely in the face of doubters. Their confident, brash nature is tremendously endearing to audiences.

            There you go, making up another false narrative. Marvel’s success isn’t because of some c0cky attitude (which sounds completely ridiculous, BTW). Their success, admittedly, is because they were the first to successfully launch a cinematic universe, something that, despite fans clamoring for this, they’d hadn’t ever gotten before, in any medium except animation.
            That, compounded with them being kid-friendly, lots of humor & juvenile dialogue is what keeps them at the top of the pile. It certainly isn’t because their movies have any depth. Quite the opposite, actually.

            I don’t think DC should copy the “tone” (god I hate the over-use of that word) of Marvel, but should emulate their attitude. DC (as they seem to be doing) should establish their framework and then push their own boundaries.

            Okay, so where’s where I address one of your earlier points. I’ve addressed this before on these boards, but I can take the time to do it again…..
            3 years ago, MOS came out, & people are still talking about that film. It was the start of the DCEU, & people are still discussing/debating it. And admittedly, they are doing so for the better or worse of it.
            What Marvel films are people discussing from 3 years ago? They certainly aren’t talking about IM3, or Thor2. In fact, I’d go as far as to say, that NONE of the Phase-1 films really get discussed, as individual films. That’s because there’s nothing there to actually discuss.
            When people talk about Marvel’s success, it’s usually in the sum totality of the entire MCU. It’s rarely as individual endeavors do they get discussed.
            Fast forward a few years… In between the interim of MOS & BVS, Marvel has had nearly a half dozen films to come out. Nobody is talking about Ant-Man. Nobody is talking about IM3 (which, for some unknown reason, made $1B). Nobody’s even talking about AOU, which although it too made $1B, seems to be lauded as one of Marvel’s worst films; even the director didn’t like its outcome, based on studio interference.
            The only Phase-2 films still on people’s minds, are TWS & GOTG (the former, more so than the latter).
            Fast forward to this year…. Yeah DP came out, & surprisingly so, it was successful. But nobody is actually talking it. Yes, people are talking about its success, but nobody is talking about the actual film itself. That’s because there’s nothing to actually discuss about it; DP is more of a Marvel film, than your typical Marvel film, R-rating notwithstanding.
            Then comes CW; another $1B darling. It hasn’t been out a month, & nobody is talking about it already. People seem to confuse talking about a film’s success, with discussing the film itself. Look around on these very boards; where are the CW discussion articles?
            Everytime I try to bring up the flaws of CW, one of you Zombies tries to steer the discussion back to BVS. It’s like you folks are afraid to expose Marvel’s flaws. You’re even talking about BVS right now!! In fact, that’s really all I’ve seen you talk about, form the past few months. Look at how much time you yourself have spent, talking about a film that you claim was “bad”. But you can’t bring yourself to analyze any of your precious Marvel films. Why? Because you know that these films lack substance. You know that deep down, Zack Snyder was right, when he called Ant-Man & these other Marvel films “flavor of the month”.
            That’s because when these Marvel films come out, you guys flock to the theaters, munch your popcorn, drink your Coke, laugh your laughs, & go home & wait or the next flavor of the month. Marvel is like bubble gum; the flavor is gone after the first few chews. This is something that I wish you Zombies would be honest about, especially with yourselves.
            Aside from breaking ground on the shared universe aspect, these films are not groundbreaking in the slightest, especially on any intellectual level. They’re actually pretty predictable, really; insert witty banter here, insert pointless villain monologue there, change source material over here, insert contrived, overly-choreographed fight scene over there, insert end credit scene, annnndddd… CUT!! That’s a wrap, folks!!
            Which is why DC doesn’t need to copy Marvel in ANY aspect. They are already being accused of copying Marvel with the Cinematic Universe strategy as it is. But DC doesn’t need to tap into anything that Marvel does, they just need to tap into their own strength; the same strength in which the created TDK trilogy, which is arguably THE greatest set of comic book films ever created (both critically & financially, since those are the metrics that you Zombies like to use).
            DC has always dared to be different. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. Usually when it doesn’t work, it’s because they tried to follow someone else’s game plan, instead of their own (ala GL).

            Suicide Squad appears to be doing that (though not particularly brash given WB saw GOTG, later Deadpool, succeed first). Aquaman appears to be the first title that will do something new, and I’m very excited to see it.

            Wait, did you just blame SS on GOTG & DP? Really? Even though SS was in the works, long before either film was (specially DP)? See, this is what I’m saying, about false narratives. Marvel fans live in a bubble, to the point that the old adage of “he who wins the war, tells the tale” begins to apply for them.
            Next thing you’ll be telling me, is that Marvel was created first, which inspired DC to come into existence. I keep waiting for one of you Zombies to fix your faces to say something dumb like that.

      • Lupin

        Why? It hasn’t been done before in a superhero film but has been done recently by Tom Hardy and will be done by Ewan MGregor in Fargo season 3. I don’t think it’s a revolutionary idea at all.
        I actually thought The Rock was going to be Shazam! before it was announced that he would be Black Adam. I think he has more personality to play Shazam! and would be wasted solely on Black Adam.
        But the critics … lol they’d bash anything. Who know with those temperamental brats?

  • Carl

    It looks like the Gambit movie has really fallen apart. They should steal Channing Tatum away so he can play Shazam.

    • flavortang

      I’m not a fan of Tatum at all, but he is PERFECT for Shazam. That is perfect casting.

      • LSB

        How about Josh Duhamel? He’s like 6’4 , 6’5 and can bulk up. He could definitely play a boy trapped in a man’s body

        • Technofied

          He is 43 and I doubt he can pull off the younger look! Shazam needs to be someone who looks fresh like in his prime, not aged which is the opposite to Black Adam!

          • Maximillian Pegasus

            Armie Hammer is a good choice.

          • Technofied

            Agreed! That guy can surely play a man child and be tough when he needs to be! Lone Ranger & Man In UNCLE. He just need to get buffed up!

        • flavortang

          Nah, he’s too much of a straight man type actor. I’m not a fan of Tatum, either, but he has legit comedic talent. I could see Tatum playing the type of character that Tom Hanks did in Big, as a kid becoming a grown up, albeit with god-like powers.

      • SAMURAI36

        I’d be fine with that choice as well.

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    • Technofied

      I have been screaming out loud. Just make it happen already!!! Gambit is not happening!

  • Ry

    There can only be one Shazam, and his name is….

    …JOOOOOHHHNNNNNN CEEEEEEEEENAAAAAAAA!

    • SAMURAI36

      I’d be fine with that.

  • Origami Rose

    I see cena playing shazam

    • flavortang

      That’s… actually not bad casting. Wow. I never thought of that, but he does have some comedic chops and is obviously built well for the role.

  • Maximillian Pegasus

    Armie Hammer for Shazam, also, could the Aquaman movie be delayed from technical problems, moving The Batman to June and Shazam to October 2018?

  • Evandest

    I would like to see John Krasinski play Shazam… I think he would fit the youth and enthusiasm look perfectly…he’s 6′ 3″ and the dude is in great shape right now after doing 13 Hours and the Jack Ryan TV Series…

    http://img2.timeinc.net/people/i/2016/news/160118/john-krasinski-01-435.jpg

  • Bruce Norris

    I don’t know who should play Shazam, but I’ll take Mario Lopez over any of the choices given below ; )

    • flavortang

      Mario Lopez? lol You high?

      • Bruce Norris

        I know. Sounds crazy, not my third pick, but look at him he’s fit, “boyish looks, slick his hair back and …He can do the acting. Plus, he’s fit but…he couldn’t beat Dwayne.

  • The Flash

    LISTEN TO ME NOW! JOHN CENA NEEDS TO PLAY SHAZAM! HE IS THE KEY!