WB/DC’s ambitious film slate has been a hot topic for close to a year now, as the scope of their cinematic plan has come more and more to light. Sometimes it feels like they have 27 movies in development, and we’re all just trying to figure out when or if they’ll all get made. From Batman v Superman, to Justice League, to Wonder Woman, Cyborg, Aquaman, Shazam!, Justice League Dark, Suicide Squad, solo Batman flicks, The Flash, rumors of Green Lantern, and beyond, it can be dizzying to figure out how it’s all going to come together. Especially when you have people like WW director Michelle MacLaren saying two months ago that her movie had no script and no green light.
With all that said, they do seem to have some sort of guarded plan over on the Warner movie lot. On the red carpet at the Academy Awards, Dwayne Johnson said that not only was Shazam! moving along, but that it may well be coming out sooner than anyone is expecting. The current school of thought is that Shazam! is still four years away, with a rumored release year of 2019.
When asked about this by MTV, here’s what Johnson had to say:
“You know, it may happen a little earlier than what has been predicted. The script is coming in. It’s great. The support from the studio has been great. It’s just a great opportunity. Especially with Black Adam, where you can take a guy who starts off as a bad guy, turns into an anti-hero. We can make him vicious, a little bit of winking charm.”
Johnson, of course, is playing Black Adam- the primary antagonist in the film. As for who will be playing Captain Marvel himself, aka Shazam, Johnson simply says, “We don’t know yet.“
While some may find it notable that the studio cast its villain first, without securing the film a star or even a director, Warner Bros has shown that they’re willing to do this. Back when Superman: The Movie was in development, they locked up Gene Hackman to play Lex Luthor and Marlon Brando to portray Jor-El before Christopher Reeve or Richard Donner had even been considered for the project. The script wasn’t even finalized yet, but those actors were all ready contractually attached. In the case of Shazam! it gets even more interesting. Johnson once said that they gave the choice to him who he’d like to play. He chose Adam. There’s also the interesting case of The Flash, where the titular star (Ezra Miller) revealed a few weeks ago that he was awarded the role without even knowing about the project or testing for it.
So what do we make of all this? Do you get the feeling that WB/DC has lined up all these films like a bunch of horses in a stable, handed each of them some semblance of a jockey, and will release them as they become ready (should any of them be put down?)? Or is there an iron clad master plan here? What about Shazam!? You excited yet? Who should direct it? Who should play Captain Marvel? Plenty to discuss here.