Rumor: Could Shazam get bumped up on WB’s release calendar?

black adam new 52

Shazam!, one of the 2019 entries in Warner Bros’ DC Cinematic Universe slate, has had a tentative date of April 5, 2019 attached to it for a few months now. It seemed like an awfully long time away to have Dwayne Johnson tied up into something that won’t see release for years.

While nothing has officially changed on that front, Johnson himself hinted to MTV that perhaps we may see Shazam! sooner than we think:

Well, you know, it may happen a little earlier than what has been predicted. The script is coming in, it’s great, the support from the studio has been great, and it’s just a great opportunity especially with Black Adam where you can take a guy who starts off as a bad guy, turns into an anti-hero, we can make him vicious, a little bit of winking charm.

Given that Superman v Batman: Dawn of Justice and Suicide Squad are both locked in, and Wonder Woman begins shooting this Fall, it’s doubtful that Shazam! can get moved up too far ahead. This goes doubly so for 2017 with both Wonder Woman and Justice League Part 1 headed for release that year. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Shazam! take over The Flash‘s spot in the 2018 schedule though. With not even a screenwriter announced for the latter as of yet, that might be the most likely development.

Dwayne Johnson dishes a bit about Black Adam


While Marvel Studios is making news of fairly unprecedented proportions, its most likely challenger for king of the Superhero Movie mountain, Warner Bros, has been quiet in recent weeks.

Sure, we know that after a three year long absence from the big screen, the studio will be rolling out their two big universe establishing properties in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Suicide Squad in 2016, but what can we expect after that? Other than titles, a few stars, and a director; details are relatively slim.

Dwayne Johnson, star of Shazam! (one of the later films of the DC Comics-based slate), was able to shed a little light on his character, Black Adam, in a recent interview with Total Film (via GamesRadar):

I think Black Adam is going to grow into becoming an anti-hero…It’s all written within the spirit of respecting and paying homage to the comics. As we know, Black Adam started out as a slave. When he’s given the powers, he utilized them. Then in the wake of his powers, tragedy strikes, which turns his sentiment and tone in terms of psychology.

Not surprisingly, it sounds as though scriptwriter Darren Lemke (Jack the Giant Slayer) is taking some cues from the popular Geoff Johns version of the character.

But what about the actual in-universe continuity between Shazam! and the rest of the DC films? There had been some concern that, since New Line was co-producing, Billy Batson’s first big screen adventure in over 70 years might not even take place in the same universe as Zack Snyder‘s Justice League. Johnson addressed this as well:

It was all agreed that the worlds are all interconnected… One day you will see Black Adam go at it with Superman or Batman or any of the DC characters. But that said, there’s a great independence to Black Adam from the DC world, allowing us to inject, not only viciousness, but also winking humour.

Shazam! is scheduled to open on April 5, 2019.

The Rock Tweets that he’ll play Black Adam

For months, nay years, The Rock, Duane Johnson, has been hinting that he would love to play either Shazam or Black Adam in a not-really-announced-but-we-kinda-know-they-are-going-to-do-it Shazam movie. I guess Hercules just wasn’t enough for him, movie-wise. And now via Twitter, he announced that it’s Black Adam, an older version of Shazam from the days when Egypt was the center of civilization. Black Adam is often a villain these days but he’s a classic anti-hero.

rock black adam

Here’s a fan-made version of Johnson as Black Adam that seems fairly representative.

Still known where and or when Black Adam will debut in the DC Cinematic universe — maybe the Bats v Supes pre JLA launch?

Also, one more thing. If you’re going to make a Shazam movie—a Shazam Movie WITH THE ROCK IN IT—good luck not having any humor in it, Warner Bros.

SDCC 14: Jeff Smith Spotlight, the Head of Comic’s Cool Table

By David Nieves
If you’re a lifer, comics have always been the cool thing. Certain people personify what’s “out there” and distinct about comics more so than any other industry; and at the very top of that list is Bone creator Jeff Smith. On SDCC Saturday afternoon, moderated by his friend Tom Spurgeon(The Comics Reporter), Jeff talked about all things Jeff Smith during his spotlight panel.

Opening with the news from Scholastic, Bone vol 1 will see a special Scholastic Anniversary edition of the book with colors and an eight page poem about the Rat Creatures alongside a whole bunch of pinups from Scholastic artists like Kate Beaton. Scholastic is set to release it in the Spring of next year.

You could tell by Jeff’s laid back demeanor and rocking back and forth in his seat that Tom held the opening talk with Jeff as if they were just having lunch together looking over comic books.  Jeff enlightened his buddy, along with the room 9 audience in attendance, about off-the-wall character design, getting older in comics, and meeting a larger age ranges of fans.

Jeff praised about the Rasl sculpture that was at his booth. A group of art students 3D built it for him, they took the little hints in the darkness of the engines to build something that resembles a Tesla Coil and an alternating engine. Seeing the final piece astonished Smith because he himself never knew what the inside of the engines never looked like because they were always draped in shadows, only showing hints of what was inside.

Smith was asked if SDCC was a better place to present your projects than when he started? “it’s a very different landscape then when I came into it. In 1991 there was only two kinds of comics; the mainstream Marvel and DC, then there were the alternative comics,” Smith explained. He defended the extravaganza known as Comic-Con for its potential to attract new readers.

His latest work, TUKI, is out first digitally with a print version available shortly after. What’s great about the print version is that it’s still read horizontally true to its digital roots. Unlike other digital to print books that have to crop pages in awkward ways. Jeff took the simple notion of keeping things the way they were meant to read.

One question he hears a lot was asked during this panel. Other company owned characters he’d like to do?
DC Comics said he could come do the second half of Shazam and the Monster Society of Evil whenever he wants but has no plans to do so in the near future. Unless he gets, “really bored or really broke.” The Rocket Raccoon 1 cover was also shown and he chalked that one up to it simply being, “up his alley.”

A fan asked Jeff, “when did he decide to make Bone more epic?
According to the cartoonist, the moment happened organically when he decided to turn the jokes it was based on into story. Particularly the stories he liked such as the works of Tolkien. It was a time where he couldn’t hide behind the Donald Duck style comics purely laced with jokes and running gags. In his words, “he had to come out.”

The last question was about how Smith transitioned Bone from college comic strip to real comic book. He had opportunities to bring bone to publishers but it would have required him changing or eliminating things like the Rat Creatures and selling his copyright. Before that time he’d never been inside a comic book store and during his first time inside one, saw that there were people self-publishing their own comics. It gave him the epiphany to create his own company and all the stories he’s done in his career.

With that the panel came to an end. You can listen to the full spotlight below (note: delay at beginning starts at 0:09) full of all Smith’s quips and insights about the industry. You can find Rasl, Tuki, and all things Bone on his website


DC Movie Casting : Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson Says Something About Something

Captain Marvelby Brandon Schatz

Do you like hearing movie stars talk in circles around some Non-Disclosure Agreements? Well then do we have a video for you.

For those who don’t feel like clicking and dealing with a few minutes of talking, the news is this: Dwayne ‘The Rock” Johnson has been talking with DC for quite a while and the two sides have been trying to get him into their movie universe for quite some time. A man who looks like Johnson’s distinct polar opposite asks him what character he might want to play in the DC universe. Johnson blushes and scuffs his toe on the ground and tells the interviewer that DC has him locked to be a character in one of their movies, and that there will be an announcement coming soon. Then he says the character will have “the power of Superman” and that the interviewer should just “say the word”, causing folks to freak out about him being Shazam.

As things stand, Shazam is one of the movies Nikki Finke rumoured to be announced at the San Diego Comic Con this week – and if that’s the case, The Rock would be a good pick to fill the character’s shoes. That said, take this with a grain of salt. Even things that are set in stone tend to erode on the odd occasion. Regardless, keep an eye on the SDCC announcements for more as we go through the week.


On the Scene: The Future of Television Conference Goes Digital

On November 16th, a one day conference held at the Museum of Jewish Heritage brought out the best and brightest in Television to talk about the future, and that meant digital media. TiVo, YouTube, Netflix, and Social Media were all on the table, or more specifically, giant screens complete with a social media feed of those tweeting about the event in real-time. This neophyte reporter suspected that what they had to say had some bearing on the future of comics, and particularly on how comics are marketed and discussed, and I heard a few sound bytes of wisdom. The bottom line I came away with was: video. The role of shareable video in spreading media awareness of new projects was a consistent theme addressed in several panels.

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