After years in development, it looks as if lightning is about to strike for Warner Bros.' Shazam!
Seemingly confirming a report from earlier this week, The Hollywood Reporter contends director David Sandberg's film will be the next DC Extended Universe feature to move into production. Cameras could roll as early as January for a targeted 2019 release.
Dwayne Johnson, who long eyed the title role before opting to instead play his foe Black Adam, reportedly won't be involved in Shazam! Warner Bros. announced plans for a Black Adam solo film early this year. Although Armie Hammer has been mentioned as a contender for the starring role, most recently by Johnson, there has been no casting news. That could change this weekend, of course, with Comic-Con International revving up in San Diego.
An early 2018 start date would move Shazam! ahead of such films as The Flash, which has experienced delays as Warner Bros. tries to nail down a director, and the sequel to Suicide Squad, which is expected to shoot later in the year. Production on Aquaman is now in full swing in Australia.
A Shazam! film has been in the works since the early 2000s, passing through the hands of a half-dozen or more screenwriters over the years. The project seemed to gain steam around 2009, only to quickly falter due to what one-time director Peter Segal attributed to the resurgence of Superman on the big screen. However, just when it seemed as if Shazam! was dead, the film appeared in 2014 on Warner Bros.' initial slate of DC Comics films.
Interestingly enough, while it was widely assumed Shazam! had been somewhat lost in the shuffle of subsequent movie announcements, its original target release date was 2019.