We’re now three films into the DC Extended Universe initiative with two more on the way next year and several more already slotted in after that. However, one film in the works that’s based on a DC Comics hero has been on uncertain ground for a few years now regarding its involvement in this cinematic universe – “Shazam”.
“Shazam” is being produced under Warners’ New Line Cinema label and so far all that’s really been known about the film is that Dwayne Johnson will star as the villain Black Adam. Now, speaking with Newsweek this week, Johnson’s manager Dany Garcia offered an update on the film’s place in the extended universe:
“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… We’ve got so many wonderful superhero franchises out there… we don’t need to run away from them and say ‘we can’t be that,’ but it’s important to understand what are the best aspects of a Batman [movie] versus Avengers versus Deadpool? What are the elements people are responding to? We want to move the needle.”
She also confirmed that the film is technically a part of the same DC extended universe, but does have more autonomy than some of the others in that universe will get:
“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 different set-up…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 needs to be of the world. 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.”
Darren Lemke (“Jack the Giant Slayer”) is penning the script for the film which is targeting an April 5th 2019 release.