Billy Batson’s origin story will be one of the more fun and lighthearted additions to the DC Extended Universe, according to writer-director David Sandberg, who’s currently in the midst of Annabelle: Creation‘s press tour. During the prequel’s recent junket, the up-and-coming horror filmmaker spoke with Film Riot about all things Shazam, including his own familiarity with the DC hero, the status of the project and why Black Adam won’t show up anymore.
First, the director offered a firm confirmation that yes, this will be the next DCEU pic to head into production, saying, “There’s a script […] It’s the next DC movie to shoot.” That’s exactly what we’ve been hearing for a while now, so this isn’t terribly surprising. What Sandberg says next, however, is more interesting.
When asked which comics he’s looking to for inspiration, the filmmaker said:
“I’m taking it all in. Some of those really old ones are quite fun, when he’s, like, fighting Hitler. Stuff like that. No, cause he’s been around since the 40s for, like, as long as Superman. So there’s a lot to read and that’s also interesting because he sort of has a couple of different origin stories or a couple of different takes on it. You know, you have the most recent sort of Geoff Johns version and then you have Ordwell version and then you have those really old versions.”
Finally, the outlet asked why Black Adam was taken out of the movie, as the plan had always been to include him. According to Sandberg, it was simply to keep the focus on the titular hero.
“There’ve been variations of the script, like before I came along, where… you know, variations where Black Adam was in and out and, you know. But now, this is about Shazam.”
Beyond the release of Justice League on November 17th, Warner Bros. has earmarked Shazam to begin filming early next year ahead of a potential release in 2019. Those pining for a taste of David Sandberg’s directing style before then, however, can catch Annabelle: Creation, which is now playing in theatres and seems to be going over well with critics (our review here).
Source: Film Riot