This is a bit of a surprise. When Warner Bros. and DC announced that they’d be making nine superhero films between now and 2020, most fans – myself included – assumed that all of those films would take place in the same cinematic universe and have characters that could cross over into the other movies, aping Marvel’s successful plan that’s been in place since 2008. But that apparently won’t be the case for all of the films.
Yesterday, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson finally confirmed that he’ll be playing the villain/anti-hero Black Adam in a Shazam movie. And though we initially thought that meant he could potentially face off against Ben Affleck’s Batman, Henry Cavill’s Superman, or Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman, the president of New Line Cinema (a subsidiary of WB that will produce the Shazam film) seems to think otherwise.
New Line president Toby Emmerich told EW:
It feels to me like Shazam will have a tone unto itself. It’s a DC comic, but it’s not a Justice League character, and it’s not a Marvel comic. The tone and the feeling of the movie will be different from the other range of comic book movies.
Since the basic concept of Shazam – a young boy who says a magic word and turns into a huge superhero – is inherently ludicrous, I’m glad to hear that this movie won’t be fitting in with WB & DC’s reported “no jokes” policy. It sounds like this one needs a bit more freedom to stray from the “dark and gritty” template, and Emmerich agrees, saying that it “will have a sense of fun and a sense of humor. But the stakes have to be real.” Sounds good to me. And as long as the insanely charismatic Dwayne Johnson doesn’t spend the whole movie glowering, I think this could end up being a wild, off-the-wall crazy kind of movie that surprises a lot of people with its tone.
But considering we don’t know who will be playing the lead hero and there isn’t even a director on board yet, it’ll be a while before we end up seeing Shazam on the big screen.
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