David F. Sandberg is leaving the horror genre behind for a while to direct a movie that’s set in the DC Extended Universe: Shazam! According to the director, they won’t be using de-aging technology to achieve the duality of the character.
Shazam isn’t always a burly superhero. Billy Batson — a young child — becomes this heroic being when uttering the word, you guessed it, “Shazam.” Sandberg discussed with Collider how exactly he’ll make this work in the movie, revealing why he’d not digitally de-age the yet-to-be-confirmed actor. “I wouldn’t want to do that. That seems like way too much of a hassle. So I think it’s just kind of best to have a kid and an adult.”
The counterpoint was made that this technology is trending in Hollywood at the moment, but Sandberg explained why he won’t jump aboard this movement. “Yeah and they’ve done quite well, I mean Kurt Russell was in the latest Guardians was really well made I thought, but I think there’s a limit to it as well,” the director said. “You probably can’t do someone to be a kid. Why create that hassle for yourself?”
Shazam! is such a far cry from his previous movies, Lights Out and Annabelle: Creation, so what made him decide to jump ship to direct a superhero movie in the DC franchise? “Well I mean overall, I’ve been working with kids in both my movies to my success and there will be kids in Shazam! and the main character is this kid who becomes an adult,” he explained.
The director also teased that production on Shazam! will be starting very soon, though there’s has been no casting announcements made yet. “Pretty much going into Shazam! right away. I mean my life’s just become so weird because I got to do Lights Out and immediately afterward I got to do Annabelle and now I’m going straight into Shazam!, so it’s like I’m on a roll so let’s just keep going until they kick me out of Hollywood.”
Dwayne Johnson, who will play Black Adam, has voiced his support for Armie Hammer to play his superhero nemesis, though it remains unclear if that will happen or if it’s simply idle talk from the star. Shazam! has its eye on a 2019 release date.
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