Dwayne Johnson (formerly known as The Rock) has long been rumored to be a factor in Warner Brothers’ attempt to bring the DC Comic Book Universe to the big screen. The former professional wrestler has been linked to Black Adam, Lobo and Green Lantern, but he recently dropped a clue that he’ll be playing another character… one that already has a movie in development.
He was recently pressed for information and stated that he was working on a DC project and stated, “It’s the power of Superman… and it’s not Green Lantern, by the way… he can throw down… just say the word, that’s all I’m gonna say.”
So he dismissed the Green Lantern rumors, but states that his character has the powers of Superman. Wonder Woman? No just kidding. “Just say the word” pretty much clinches that he’s going to play the super powered adult half of Shazam, a character that was, up until recently, known as Captain Marvel. Supposedly, Warner Brothers intends for there to be a Shazam movie in theaters by 2016.
The exploits of Captain Marvel and his extended family were published by Fawcett Comics in the 1940s, until DC Comics won a lawsuit claiming that the character was an infringement of their Superman. Fawcett shut down completely and, coincidentally, in the 1970s DC purchased the rights to the Fawcett lineup of characters and Captain Marvel/Shazam has been a steady presence ever since.
Shazam is secretly a teenage boy, but when he utters his magic word, becomes a powerful adult with the wisdom of Solomon, the strength of Hercules, the stamina of Atlas, the power of Zeus, the courage of Achilles, and the speed of Mercury.
The character rose to pop culture awareness in 1974, when the hero swooped onto television screens across the country on a live action Saturday morning TV series, produced by Filmation. Subsequently, the character was featured on every type of merchandising that DC produced during that era. Filmation would later go on to produce a ‘Shazam’ cartoon series.
Meanwhile, in the comics, DC has long struggled with what to do with Captain Marvel/Shazam. The original comics were more geared toward children and therefore more whimsical that most modern comics. After several attempts, DC finally relaunched the character in a more gritty setting, making his teenage alter ego Billy Batson kind of a jerk. I guess that’s progress.
It’s not clear what direction the movie is taking. Will it be more of a classic, fanciful take? Or will it be more modern and cynical?
Guess we’ll have to wait and see. What would you like to see in a ‘Shazam’ movie?
Source: Total Film