Shazam! Movie Update

<em>Shazam!</em> Movie Update

Bill Birch discusses his take on the film's tone, development and the involvement of. . . Ryan Reynolds?

CineFOOLS recently got a chance to talk to Bill Birch about co-writing the screenplay for Shazam! with Geoff Johns. Peter Segal has been attached to direct Warner Bros.' adaptation of the DC Comics series featuring Captain Marvel for three years.

The story centers on teenager Billy Batson, who transforms into a superhero when he says the word "Shazam!" In an interview in this October, Birch gives us some insight into the future of the project.

"Geoff and I are in the thick of it, creating a kickass update that still honors the lore that's been created in over 50 years of Marvel storylines," Birch told the site, adding that they are not using the previously-written scripts and starting fresh.

Birch remembers "being fascinated with the idea that a kid could just say 'Shazam!' and become a superhero. It's the ultimate in wish fulfillment and obviously that will be a theme in the script."

When asked if this project will be 'dark and gritty', Birch had this to say: "The way the story is shaking out, Geoff and I see this not as 'dark' as 'Dark Knight' but definitely as cool. It'll probably end up with a PG-13 rating."

He emphasized that the most important thing that he would bring on board to the movie is the overall tone. "Tonally I think it's important to successfully find the balance of comedy and danger in the story. That's a major aspect I'm focusing on. Frankly hitting the right tone is what's going to either get this made or keep it in development hell."

And what about the rumors of Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson being attached as either the title character or the protagonist, Black Adam? Birch has this to say: "My rule of thumb is that no actor is committed to do a movie until the first day of shooting is over with. (And sometimes even then the cast can still change) I know that Pete Segal and Dwayne have a relationship that was solidified when Pete directed Get Smart. As far as him being committed? I'm sure it'll all depend on the script. That being the case I don't write with anyone in mind. If the characters are solid it will attract good talent and then there will always be a rewrite to address the talent's concerns. Usually at that point in the process is when you start writing for that specific actor. More than likely the role of Billy Batson will be an unknown but the role of Captain Marvel? I always thought Ryan Reynolds would have been interesting but now that he’s Green Lantern that’s not an option. Honestly I don’t think too much about it since I have very little say in the casting decisions."

Information courtesy of CineFOOLS

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