The strange tale of the Shazam! feature film continues. A project that’s been in development since I was younger and sprier, Dwayne Johnson aka The Rock has been attached to it since 2008, when Get Smart director Peter Segal was set to get behind the camera.
In 2014, after years of development hell, Johnson confirmed his commitment stating that he was offered the choice of roles of either Shazam/Billy Batson or Black Adam. Given his noted passion for the latter, we’ve now spent the past 2.5 years with Johnson playing the villain being the only real detail we know about the film; though Darren Lemke was initially hired to write the script (apparently Henry Gayden has stepped in recently).
Now, according to THR, after a highly publicized meeting between Johnson and DC Films co-head Geoff Johns, Shazam! will be split into two with Johnson also starring in a Black Adam feature.
This decision is clearly driven by the fact that Johnson is a highly bankable star, and the studio (New Line) can’t fathom utilizing him in just a supporting role.
Black Adam is the latest DC Film project to be announced following Gotham City Sirens, the Ben Affleck directed Batman feature, along with the entire previous slate that was initially revealed over an investors call back in 2014. Beyond Wonder Woman, Justice League and maybe Aquaman, which is really well along in terms of pre-production, I’ll remain dubious as to how many of these may actually see the light of day. The Flash still doesn’t have a new director as of yet and it was rumored to be released in March of next year.
Credit to Johns and Berg for giving it a strong go though, I’m hoping the ship gets righted more than anyone!
Entertainment Editor for The Beat covering film, television and the occasional comic book. His work can also be found at GeekRex.com and can be heard on the GeekRex podcast. Also, your go-to Grant Morrison/Love & Rockets/Hellboy/Legion of Super-Heroes expert.