John August Talks Shazam Movie

3 Comments

I’m not really sure how I feel about the upcoming “Shazam!” movie. I don’t really know all that much about it, and from everything I’ve heard, I’m not sure if it can be a good movie. Which might be entirely my fault, as my definition of a “good comic book movie” is one that takes the subject matter seriously — despite the origins of the movie being a comic book. I’m just not sure if a comic book movie about a boy who turns into the “world’s mightiest mortal” when he screams out “Shazam!” can be anything other than cheesy or campy. I feel the same way about “Shazam!” as I do about the upcoming “Green Hornet” movie, in fact.

But anyways, here’s what John August, writer/director of the upcoming “Shazam!” has to say about it (via):

August said that his work on “Chocolate Factory” likely led to this project: “Like Charlie, Billy Batson has an innate goodness, he’s is pure, and that is why Billy is chosen to be a hero and why Charlie succeeds.” I mentioned the movie “Big” and August nodded that, yes, that is a strong reference point for the boy-in-a-man theme of the film, although he added that he rarely cites it because it might give “the super-fans” something new to fret about. (We didn’t talk about casting because it’s way too early in the process, but Jake Gyllenhaal has been mentioned and IMDB lists the Rock as “in talks” for the role. IMDB also cites Brandon Molale as possible and he is an absolute dead ringer for Marvel; he may not have major name recognition but he did appear in “The Longest Yard,” so Segal knows him.)

I mentioned to August that two years ago I chatted with one of the “Shazam!” producers, Michael E. Uslan, and he told me even then that any Captain Marvel movie’s great challenge would be answering one question: If you were a little kid who could turn into an all-powerful, handsome adult, why on Earth would you ever change back? August’s answer: “That’s absolutely a key part of the movie. Billy doesn’t want to turn back, that’s central to the story. And a lot of the movie hinges upon that and Billy’s relationship with his best friend and that disparity. They are two teen friends and then suddenly one of them is 30 and a hero. So it creates tension. You know, as a screenwriter, that’s the thing, to take what seems to be a problem and make it a key element of the story. But Michael hit it on the head, that’s one of the emotional cores of this story. So to me it’s a great problem to have.”

The Rock would actually be good for the role, but who knows. I’ll “buy” this movie when I see more, or hear more about the plot. Right now, I’m just not sure…

John August Talks Shazam Movie

Author: Nix

Editor/Writer at BeyondHollywood.com. Likes: long walks on the beach and Kevin Costner post-apocalyptic movies. Dislikes: 3D, shaky cam, and shaky cam in 3D. Got a site issue? Wanna submit Movie/TV news? Or to email me in regards to anything on the site, you can do so at nix (at) beyondhollywood.com.
  • Dave

    Having read this and all the other articles on the site about the “Shazam!” movie (some are very old i know, but the wonders of google eh?) iv got to say i really hope this film does get made!
    Im a massive super-hero fan and Captain Marvel is one of my favourite characters: mainly for one of the issues you’ve highlighted as a question for the movie – Why change back?

    The fact that Billy is only a child adds so much dimension to the character. Whilst Cap may posses the wisdom of solomon, wisdom isnt everything and Cap still posses alot of Billy’s young nievity. Captain Marvel is still largely BIlly with “borrowed” powers and the fact he straddles both the human and the Meta-human world marks him as something special. a great Graphic Novel called Kingdon Come basicvally boils down to this theme, where supermana nd Captain MArvel are fighting in the middle of a huge Super-power battle. The Governments of the world have relaised they cant control super powered beings and launch a nuke at the battlefield. Superman realises hes “too close to the problem” and tells Captain Marvel that its up to Cap and Billy to decide as they walk in both worlds.

    Another issue mentioned in one of these articles is about how “camp” it will have to be. Whilst i dont think it will HAVE to be camp i think it should be aimed at a younger more family friendly audience then say Dark Knight and Watchmen. This film for sure should be less “grpahic novel” and more “comic book”. The fact the protagonist is a child alone means the film should be aimed at children.

    Oh the the mention of “black adam” the use of the word Black and the fact he’s Arabian… i just hate Political correctness gone mad. The character of black adam was created MANY decades ago, yes a time when racism was more widespread but less of an issue, but this character was not designed to be derogatory to any minorities. Black Adam (or Teth-Adam as hes also known) is a version of Captain Marvel from many thousands of years ago, who draws his powers not from Greek Gods but Eygptian ones. The man-out-of-time aspect is a huge part of his morally ambiguous nature, he coems from a time and place where Courst and prisons arent the standard of justice but when eye-for-an-eye was the accpeted norm… and his thoughts and shifting allegiances are a great way of making people question their own morality.

    There’s so much scope for this film to appeal to both older and younger audiences, if done right it will be the equal of any superhero film of the last 8 years

  • Dave

    Having read this and all the other articles on the site about the “Shazam!” movie (some are very old i know, but the wonders of google eh?) iv got to say i really hope this film does get made!
    Im a massive super-hero fan and Captain Marvel is one of my favourite characters: mainly for one of the issues you’ve highlighted as a question for the movie – Why change back?

    The fact that Billy is only a child adds so much dimension to the character. Whilst Cap may posses the wisdom of solomon, wisdom isnt everything and Cap still posses alot of Billy’s young nievity. Captain Marvel is still largely BIlly with “borrowed” powers and the fact he straddles both the human and the Meta-human world marks him as something special. a great Graphic Novel called Kingdon Come basicvally boils down to this theme, where supermana nd Captain MArvel are fighting in the middle of a huge Super-power battle. The Governments of the world have relaised they cant control super powered beings and launch a nuke at the battlefield. Superman realises hes “too close to the problem” and tells Captain Marvel that its up to Cap and Billy to decide as they walk in both worlds.

    Another issue mentioned in one of these articles is about how “camp” it will have to be. Whilst i dont think it will HAVE to be camp i think it should be aimed at a younger more family friendly audience then say Dark Knight and Watchmen. This film for sure should be less “grpahic novel” and more “comic book”. The fact the protagonist is a child alone means the film should be aimed at children.

    Oh the the mention of “black adam” the use of the word Black and the fact he’s Arabian… i just hate Political correctness gone mad. The character of black adam was created MANY decades ago, yes a time when racism was more widespread but less of an issue, but this character was not designed to be derogatory to any minorities. Black Adam (or Teth-Adam as hes also known) is a version of Captain Marvel from many thousands of years ago, who draws his powers not from Greek Gods but Eygptian ones. The man-out-of-time aspect is a huge part of his morally ambiguous nature, he coems from a time and place where Courst and prisons arent the standard of justice but when eye-for-an-eye was the accpeted norm… and his thoughts and shifting allegiances are a great way of making people question their own morality.

    There’s so much scope for this film to appeal to both older and younger audiences, if done right it will be the equal of any superhero film of the last 8 years

  • Ramphism

    Hi I’m 66 yrs old and I have the 1950 episodes of Captain Marvel in cassette
    And I was wandering when they will come with a big movie. I hope that before I die i will see it come true.
    Ps
    Pls make it soon
    Ramphism@aol.com