We’ve known with certainty since early last month that Dwayne Johnson will star as Black Adam in Shazam!, which Warner Bros. revealed just last week will arrive in 2019, sandwiched between Aquaman and a Justice League sequel. Beyond that, details are pretty slim. But is it possible we’ve been given our first clue as to the director?
On Tuesday, New Line Cinema announced James Wan will return to direct The Conjuring 2 as part of an overall producing deal at the Warner Bros. subsidiary. That’s good news for fans of the director and of horror films, but MovieWeb zeroed in one this comment from New Line President Toby Emmerich:
James will make an important movie for New Line and Warner Bros or DC, and that is definitely part of the plan, and a reason for bringing him into the family. He’s the only overall director with a deal here, because we see him as a class of one.
The website points out that, considering Shazam! is the only known DC property set up at New Line, it seems a distinct possibility that Wan is in line to helm the superhero movie. Although the filmmaker is known for horror fare like Saw, Insidious and The Conjuring, he expanded into the action genre with the upcoming Fast & Furious 7, which just happens to star … Dwayne Johnson.
Shazam! has been in development at New Line for the better part of a decade, with Peter Segal (Get Smart, The Longest Yard) attached to direct through numerous drafts. However, he revealed late last year that his version wasn’t likely to “see the light of day any time soon.” Of course, within months word began to circulate that the property was still in play, with Johnson bursting to reveal his involvement.
Emmerich suggested just last month that Shazam! will remain separate from Warner Bros.’ other DC movie plans, with “a tone unto itself.” “It’s a DC comic, but it’s not a Justice League character, and it’s not a Marvel comic,” he said. “The tone and the feeling of the movie will be different from the other range of comic book movies.”
He added that it “will have a sense of fun and a sense of humor. But the stakes have to be real.”
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