Tuesday, January 06, 2009
According to this article, the Shazam movie I have been looking forward to for some time is dead in the water. Why? Because Warner Brothers is devoid of artistic recognition.
If you're not familiar with the Shazam property, it's the tale of a young boy named Billy Batson who can transform himself into Captain Marvel with a magic word ("Shazam" of course). Captain Marvel is as powerful (if not more) than Superman, and indeed he outsold Superman for the majority of the forties until National Publications (DC Comics) sued Fawcett comics for copyright infringement and ended up shelving the character for years. The comic itself though was always very tongue-in-cheek and played best when the authors understood such. Currently, one of DC's best titles is Mike Kunkel's “Billy Batson and the Power Of Shazam” which is published under the Johnny DC kids' line of comics. Please refer to me dropping Detective and Action below, but BBATPOS comes home with me every month. I LOVE the book.
So, getting back to my big gripe, it seems there was a script and early production on a movie version. Even Dwayne Johnson, the Rock, was attached in the single most obvious bit of casting since Downey Jr. played Tony Stark- Johnson was to play Black Adam, Captain Marvel's arch nemesis.
Perfect casting, absolutely perfect. The whole project however is dead because it was light hearted, and in the wake of The Dark Knight, WB believes all Superhero movies have to be dark and bleak to be successful.
I loved Dark Knight. However, I was afraid of this. Hollywood has this horrible tendency to want to clone things. It doesn't seem to occur to them TDK wasn't successful because it was dark, but because it was an appropriate setting for that character. The moody Superman Returns failed because it wasn't appropriate for the character. A dark Shazam will fail as well. Captain Marvel needs a little bald evil scientist with glasses jumping up and down calling him “the Big Red Cheese.” That's who the character is.
I assume now the next Superman movie will be dark, as will a Green Lantern, Wonder Woman, Flash, or hell, even Booster Gold/Blue Beetle movie (that sentence gives me an excuse to add Blue Beetle as a tag. I want him uncanceled).
So now, as much as I was trying to avoid complaining about entertainment and just letting myself be entertained, I now have to do a blog entry complaining about WB. Thanks guys, you're not only going to ruin Shazam, you're ruining my New Year's Resolution. Jerks.
PS- Can I get Patrick Warburton as Captain Marvel please? Please?
(My thanks to the skilled individuals who did these manips I stole from Google.)