SDCC 2017 has just begun and the Warner Brothers panel isn’t until Saturday afternoon, but we already have news about the next film in Warners’ DC Extended Universe after Aquaman will be. Shazam! will be the next DCEU film to go before cameras.
The Hollywood Reporter has the exclusive news that DC’s Captain Marvel will start shooting January and February of 2018 with an eye on a 2019 release. The article doesn’t specify if the film will keep its previously assigned of April 5, 2019 release date, but that appears well within the realm of possibility. David Sandberg will direct.
Also unconfirmed by the article is Dwayne Johnson’s involvement in the film. He has signed on to play Captain Marvel’s arch-enemy Black Adam, and a stand-alone feature with the character is being developed, but it is unclear if he will also be in Shazam! as well.
The character is a natural for a film adaptation. During the 1940s, Captain Marvel was the best selling superhero in the world. However, a lawsuit by DC Comics against Captain Marvel’s then owner, Fawcett Comics, coupled with declining demand for superhero comics in the 1950s, caused the character to go into mothballs. DC would buy the Fawcett characters in the early 1970s and revive Captain Marvel in Shazam!, renamed because Marvel Comics snatched up the trademark to the Captain Marvel name. The character would have a live-action Saturday Morning show from 1974 to 1977 and appeared in a number of DC’s animated offerings since then.
The classic version of Captain Marvel’s origin involves orphan Billy Batson given great powers by the wizard Shazam. However, recent years have offered changes to the concept where more people have been granted powers instead of just Billy. It remains to be seen what version makes it to the screen.
Hopefully we will learn more on Saturday at the Warners panel.