It's an understatement to say DC Films' Shazam! has taken a long, twisting road to the big screen. Action star Dwayne Johnson was linked to the project as far back as 2007, so, you'd think he'd actually be starring in the film. But he's not. And despite being in pre-production, and expected to be the next DC movie to begin production, the project has yet to announce an actor for the title role. Regardless, Shazam! is happening.
Are you confused about its status or who might star as Earth's Mightiest Mortal? That's OK, CBR is here to go over everything we know about the DC Comics-based movie, from its early stages to the most recent developments.
The Big Red Cheese's journey to cinemas began (at least in the modern era) in the early 2000s at New Line Cinema, which merged with its sibling studio Warner Bros. Pictures in 2008. However, for the purposes of this article, let's start on Aug. 19, 2009, when a report indicated that prolific comics writer and current DC Entertainment President & Chief Creative Officer Geoff Johns would be the latest to take a crack at the film's script. With Bill Birch, Johns followed in the footsteps of such screenwriters William Goldman, Bryan Goluboff, Joel Cohen, Alec Sokolow and John August, each of whom took a turn at writing a draft.
Veteran director Peter Segal (Get Smart) was attached, so it seemed (for a time) that Shazam! would finally enter the pre-production phase. However, we didn't hear anything about it for almost three years. In a January 2012 interview, Johns insisted the film was still happening. “Oh, no, Shazam’s always — there’s always a possibility for Shazam,” he said. “There’s always talk about Shazam. And I can’t get into the specifics on that, but yeah, there’s hope for Shazam.”
Regardless of those comments, there wasn't public development on the film until Johnson (once again) expressed interest in playing classic Shazam villain Black Adam. Then, Segal cast doubt that his incarnation of Shazam! would ever see the light of day. “I’ve always loved Shazam,” he said in December 2013, “but I don’t know if it’s going to see the light of day any time soon.”
However, in April 2014, it was reported that Shazam! was indeed still in development -- with or without Segal. Four months later, Johnson said he hadn't decided if he should play Shazam or Black Adam, but confirmed he'd been in active talks with Warner Bros. By September 2014, Johnson had settled on starring as Black Adam in a film now written by Darren Lemke.