DC Comics’ Shazam Probably Isn’t Getting A Movie And It’s All Superman’s Fault
by Jill Pantozzi | 11:02 am, December 26th, 2013
Not all white dudes with black hair and superpowers are the same, guys. GEEZ. On the bright side, at least there’s another superhero who won’t be getting their own movie before Wonder Woman premieres in live-action on the big screen.
Speaking with ComingSoon.net about his latest film, Grudge Match, director Peter Segal was asked about his past development of the DC Comics character Shazam (previously Captain Marvel). He was definitely working on it at one point but says the time may have past.
The thing is, Shazam has always lived a tortured life going against Superman. This dates back to the 1930s. Because Captain Marvel had similar powers to Superman, the DC folks back then sued what was the most popular comic book on the stands at that time. Years later, they bought it and it became a DC property but, as long as Superman stays hot in the market place, there seems like a little bit of a crossover between the two characters. After Bryan Singer’s “Superman Returns,” it seemed like there was a moment in time where Shazam was going to see the light of day. That’s when you heard those stories. Now that Superman is being invigorated and going up against Batman, I think it’s difficult for DC to figure out how to launch this character in the wake of Superman’s resurgence.
I can see where he’s coming from, their power sets are close, but Superman and Shazam have very different backstories. Shazam, as most know him, is the adult, superpowered, alter ego of a young human named Billy Batson. One day he’s chosen by a wizard (named Shazam) and is granted the wisdom of Solomon, the strength of Hercules, the stamina of Atlas, the power of Zeus, the courage of Achilles, and the speed of Mercury. And yes, that spells out Shazam. Batson is able to summon these powers (and turn into adult form) by shouting the name to the sky.
The child-into-superhero story seems like box office gold to me but Segal told Coming Soon it wouldn’t have necessarily been “kid friendly.”
I was working with Geoff Johns. At its core, it’s a lot like Superman. There’s this boy trapped inside of a superhero’s body. He’s still a boy inside, so there’s this opportunity to play a lot of humor with the action. Originally, Stan Lee brought me “Fantastic Four” a number of years for that very reason. I always have the question when people bring me superhero properties, “Why me?” With Stan, he said, “It’s because there’s a sense of humor within all Marvel characters.” These characters are flawed and, within those flaws, there is humor. When Toby Emmerich came to me with Shazam, it was because of those same reasons. To draw from that humor and to mix it with great action and pathos. I’ve always loved Shazam, but I don’t know if it’s going to see the light of day anytime soon.
What do you think about the Superman/Shazam comparisons and what that would mean to movie-goers?
(via The Hollywood Reporter)