Though it was first announced several years ago, there’s been little to no progress on Shazam. For one, the titular hero hasn’t been cast yet, and though a director is now in place in the form of David F. Sandberg, it would seem that production is moving along at a snail’s pace. Or at least, it was, as we’re now hearing that things are about to fire up.
Not too long ago, we learned that the project is getting ready to shoot in early 2018, which is pretty surprising given that no casting has been revealed just yet. Indeed, at the time of writing, the titular role of William Joseph “Billy” Batson remains vacant, though if Dwayne Johnson has his way, Warner Bros. may select Armie Hammer for the gig. Johnson, who is currently attached to produce and star in a Black Adam movie, does hold a small degree of creative leverage in the DC Extended Universe, so it’ll be intriguing to find out if WB takes heed of the actor’s requests. However, it’s worth noting that his anti-hero has ostensibly been ruled out of Shazam.
While we wait for some casting news to surface, and we imagine it’ll arrive sooner rather than later, we’re starting to learn a bit more about the project thanks to Sandberg himself. While speaking to the Toronto Sun to promote his new effort, Annabelle: Creation, the director touched base on the tone of Shazam, promising a fun and lighthearted outing.
“The big attraction for me with that character is the fact that every kid dreams of being Superman, right? I mean I certainly did, and (Billy Batson) is a kid that gets that chance. He gets to become the superhero. So, it’ll be big with superpowers in a way. In terms of what people can expect, I think this will be one of the more fun or lighthearted movies so far in the DC universe. It certainly will be a departure.”
Though the DCEU has certainly had its fair share of critics who’ve taken issue with its dark and gloomy tone, we’re hoping that Sandberg isn’t intending on going full Marvel here. The more gritty and grim vibe found throughout DC’s recent efforts is what helps set them apart from those found in the MCU and while we admit that movies like Man of Steel and Batman V Superman definitely took things too far, it’s still nice to have something differentiating the studio’s work from that of their competitor.
While it’s true that Shazam is definitely a lighter character than say, Batman, it’s important that Sandberg is able to balance things out here. Just look at Wonder Woman. Patty Jenkins was able to inject more than enough humor and lightheartedness into the blockbuster while still having it feel very much like a DC Comics movie, and not something from Marvel. Hopefully, Sandberg will do the same and deliver to us a well executed take on the hero.
Tell us, what are your thoughts on all this? Are you excited to see what’s in store with Shazam? Or are you not a fan of what you’ve been hearing about it so far? Sound off in the usual place.