While Snyder fans rejoice over the news of Walter Hamada officially leaving DC Films and Warner Bros. Discovery, not everyone feels the same.
Henry Gayden, one of the brains behind the screenplays for Shazam! and Shazam! Fury of the Gods, took to Twitter to reminisce over a particular moment he shared with Hamada in the past, which has stuck with him to this day.
The story, Gayden says, is exemplary of how sometimes notes on scripts from executives can actually be beneficial, and even “transformative” to the movie. Turns out, it was Hamada’s idea to give Billy an absent mother, instead of the writer’s initial plan to make him an orphan.
“My immediate response was: ‘No. No way. That’s wayyyy too heavy for a movie this lighthearted’,” Gayden said. But the DC Films boss asked him to just try and write the scene. In the end, it ended up becoming the Shazam! writer’s favorite scene he had written for the movie.
“That was the scene that movie needed — so much so that when we were filming it, I told our producer on set, “If this scene doesn’t work, the whole movie doesn’t work.””
For Gayden, Shazam! would not have been the same without that one poignant scene, which only exists because of Hamada, where Billy finds his mom and she finally reveals what really happened in the past.
Hamada has famously enjoyed a very low approval rating from fans of DC movies after allegedly covering up Justice League director Joss Whedon’s on-set racially charged abuse towards Ray Fisher. He is also blamed for Henry Cavill’s distance from the super-hero franchise as Hamada reportedly wanted to introduce a new Superman altogether.
His reputation has preceded him, but not everyone has bad memories of Hamada, as proved by Gayden. Hamada worked for Warner Bros. for 15 years, with the last four at the helm of DC Films.
DCEU’s latest outing Black Adam arrives in theaters on Friday, Oct. 20.