We've all been so busy talking about Warner Bros' Batman v Superman, Suicide Squad, and Justice League films we almost forgot they also have a Shazam (aka Captain Marvel) movie coming up too. Thankfully the producer recently got to talking about how fun it's going to be.
Shazam! is slated for an April 4, 2019 release but we haven't heard much about the project since Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson was cast as villain Black Adam (I still hold strong to the idea of him making a better Shazam, but I'm happy regardless).
The character now known as Shazam was previously called Captain Marvel (the official name change came in 2012 for obvious legal reasons). The character is a boy named Billy Batson, who shouted “SHAZAM!” to invoke the wisdom of Solomon, the strength of Hercules, the stamina of Atlas, the power of Zeus, the invulnerability of Achilles, and the speed of Mercury.
Before we got bogged down by the Bog of Eternal Gloom that is Zack Snyder's vision of the DC Universe, Toby Emmerich, president of New Line (the Warner subsidiary producing the film) told Entertainment Weekly “[Shazam! is] a DC comic, but it”s not a Justice League character, and it”s not a Marvel comic. The tone and the feeling of the movie will be different from the other range of comic book movies” and it “will have a sense of fun and a sense of humor. But the stakes have to be real.”
Now producer Hiram Garcia echoes that sentiment to ComicBook.com:
“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,” he says. “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.”
Garcia also mentioned the lack of casting for the film, “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.” Johnson has plenty on his dance card at the moment. He has a voice role in Disney's Moana, just wrapped up a Baywatch movie, and is currently filming a Jumanji remake, just to name a few. But the casting of Billy and Shazam are obviously key.
“I promise you dude, we're not gonna f— this up!” Garcia told ComicBook.com and mentioned they are a “good way into development.” “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.”
Are you excited to see what they do with Shazam? Any thoughts on casting?