Will Billy Batson be WB’s next big screen superhero? Fans were just about ready to shout Shazam! when on July 25, actor Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson tweeted an image of Superman, Shazam, and Black Adam.
The tweet had fans speculating. Was this Johnson’s way of telling fans he was being considered, maybe even signed for a role in a Shazam movie? If this is to be true, how soon can fans expect to see Billy Batson on the big screen?
Entertainment reporter Nikki Finke cited unnamed sources who alleged that a Shazam film is already in the works and planned for release as early as July 2016, less than two months after the release of Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice. Expectations were high at Comic-Con International in San Diego, California, and the lack of an announcement didn’t do much to put an end to the rumor.
The film, however, remains a possibility. In an interview with IGN, DC’s Chief Creative Officer Geoff Johns named Shazam as a character he’d like to see brought to live action. Johns has shown significant interest in the character, recently revamping Shazam for DC’s New 52 and adding him on the Justice League roster. He was reportedly working with director Peter Segal, co-writing a script for a film formerly titled Billy Batson and the Legend of Shazam; but according to Segal, work on the film was delayed due to the success of Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel.
“Now that Superman is being invigorated and going up against Batman, I think it’s difficult for DC to figure out how to launch this character in the wake of Superman’s resurgence,” said Segal.
Fans should not feel discouraged. In a 2012 interview with Newsarama, Johns said that there was still hope for the character being featured in a film but that he couldn’t go into specifics.
It’s not too far-fetched of an idea to have Shazam be Warner Bros.’ next big screen superhero.
“There’s this opportunity to play a lot of humore with the action [In Shazam]. These characters are flawed and within those flaws, there is humor. […] This boy trapped inside of a superhero’s body, he’s still a boy inside,” said Segal.
This boy-inside-of-a-superhero’s-body concept might explain why Johnson could be considered for the title role. Johnson is known for being cast in family-friendly roles. In the 1940s, the character’s appearances in Captain Marvel Adventures were so popular that the comic sold approximately 2 million copies, an impressive amount for comic sales. The character was particularly compelling for young kids because of how the young Billy Batson got his powers. All it took was a wizard and the magic word, Shazam!
Cartoon Network just released this Shazam! short as part of the DC Nation Shorts series. Billy Batson must use the wisdom of Solomon to solve word problems. Shazam!: Wizdom was written by Kim Krieg with Jessica Borutski as storyboard artist, colorist, and co-director, starring voice actors David Kaye, Tara Strong, Brian George, Eric Bauza, and Kevin Conroy. You can watch bellow: