‘Shazam!’ Producer Opens Up About Her Film’s Fit in the DC Cinematic Universe
It feels a little wrong to just keep talking about upcoming Dwayne Johnson movies as if he isn’t at war with Vin Diesel over the future of the Fast and the Furious franchise. What if they never reconcile? What if this is the beef that finally tears the Toretto family apart? Then again, I’d like to think that neither Johnson nor Diesel would want us to put our lives on hold while we’re worrying about them. Life must go on, you know?
So with that in mind, let’s talk about superhero movies. We’ve known since 2014 that Johnson would be taking on the role of the villain in the DC Cinematic Universe movie Shazam!, but since the official announcement, not a lot of new information has been provided. Yesterday, though, Newsweek caught up with Shazam! producer Dany Garcia to discuss the upcoming movie and its connection to recent contentious Warner Bros. titles like Suicide Squad and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.
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.
In the interview, Garcia is very careful to use language that explicitly places Shazam! outside the rest of the DC Cinematic Universe without actually throwing those films under the bus.
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.
And what is the current status of the project?
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.
Even if you love the rest of the DC movies, Shazam is probably different enough from the other characters to warrant a separate tone altogether. Yes, Shazam is a powerful superhero on par with Superman and Wonder Woman, but when he is not uttering the magical phrase, he is just adolescent Billy Batson. Shazam! would probably make more sense as the superhero equivalent of Penny Marshall’s Big than Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel. One thing is for certain, though: with Hollywood’s biggest box office star attached as the villain, Shazam! will eventually find its way into production. Nobody says no to Dwayne Johnson… well, except for maybe Vin Diesel.
Shazam! is set for theatrical release on April 5, 2019, despite not yet having a finished script or a lead actor. Yikes.