While all the talk of the DC movie universe has been about Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman and the various other “Justice League” members, one project that was talked about a couple of years ago seems to have fallen through the cracks – “Shazam”.
Back in 2007, the project was setup at New Line. The plan was to adapt the comic’s story of Billy Batson, a teenager who becomes the superhero known as Captain Marvel when he utters the magic word “Shazam!”. In that incarnation, Dwayne Johnson was to play the villain Black Adam.
Peter Segal (“Get Smart”) was attached to direct the film, but the project fell apart back in late 2008/early 2009 due to a combination of the writer’s strike, New Line’s absorption into Warners, and confused studio executives.
With “Man of Steel” reviving the DC universe, there was hope that the “Shazam” movie could return from the dead. Recently speaking with Coming Soon, Segal claims that the success of “Man of Steel” has had the opposite effect, essentially ensuring that Captain Marvel won’t be coming to the big screen anytime soon:
“Now that Superman is being invigorated and going up against Batman, I think it’s difficult for DC to figure out how to launch this character in the wake of Superman’s resurgence.
At its core, it’s a lot like Superman. There’s this boy trapped inside of a superhero’s body. He’s still a boy inside, so there’s this opportunity to play a lot of humor with the action.
Originally, Stan Lee brought me Fantastic Four a number of years for that very reason. I always have the question when people bring me superhero properties, ‘Why me?’.
With Stan, he said, ‘It’s because there’s a sense of humor within all Marvel characters.’ These characters are flawed and, within those flaws, there is humor.
When [producer] Toby Emmerich came to me with Shazam, it was because of those same reasons. To draw from that humor and to mix it with great action and pathos. I’ve always loved Shazam, but I don’t know if it’s going to see the light of day anytime soon.”