What with everything else that's been going on with the DCU over the past year - the catastrophic trainwreck that was Batman V Superman, the media circus surrounding the release of Suicide Squad, haters being allowed to roam around the Justice League set all willy-nilly - you'd be forgiven for not remembering that Shazam! is still a movie on Warner Bros.' upcoming slate. I mean, I certainly didn't remember.
Lucky for us, Newsweek's got a new interview with producer Dany Garcia, which serves not only as a reminder that Shazam! is still happening, but as a window into what's going on behind the scenes with the long-gestating project.
For starters, the film will definitely take place in the same DC universe established by Man Of Steel. Says Garcia:
“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.”
Well, OK, maybe not in that same world, but maybe of that same world:
“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.”
What will this mean in practice? It's anyone's guess. Could be something as substantial as an extended Superman cameo, could be that we'll just see Gotham City pop up in an in-movie news report. Whatever it ends up being, they're taking their time with it, and Garcia says that's by design:
“We’re getting (script) drafts in…it’s important to make sure we get the tone right for Black Adam, which is (The Rock'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.”
Yeah, The Rock. Remember? He's playing Black Adam in the film, and is producing Shazam! alongside Garcia. Not only does he have a vested interest in the film being, y'know, good, but dude's also got a long time before he'll be available to shoot the film: if you hadn't noticed, The Rock's been lining up projects at a rate that might best be described as Guillermo del Toro-esque.
Anyway, if we take everything above at face value, Shazam! is still on track to arrive in 2019. Now that you've been reminded: you guys still excited about it?