Shazam! director David F. Sandberg has revealed what initially drew him to the film and the appeal of its youthful hero. Ever since it was included in Warner Bros.’ original DCEU film slate, Shazam has remained one of the most interesting superhero films in development, for perhaps no reason other than its unique central premise. Based around the superhero character of the same name, the film is said to follow the life of Billy Batson, a young boy who is granted mystical powers by a wizard in the comics – powers that allow him to transform into an adult, super powered alter ego, every time he utters the phrase, “Shazam!”
After spending several years in early development, steady progress has been made on Shazam over the past few months, starting with rumors that Lights Out director, David F. Sandberg would take the helm on the project. Fortunately, Sandberg’s involvement with Shazam is now official and it would appear that Shazam is the next DCEU movie heading into production, with a January or February 2018 start date currently in mind (in order to make a 2019 release date).
While Sandberg has been noticeably quiet about his connection to Shazam over the past few months – likely due to his busy work schedule overseeing the completion of the upcoming Annabelle: Creation – the director spoke with IGN at this year’s San Diego Comic-Con regarding the DCEU movie. Despite being predictably tight-lipped about the project, Sandberg did reveal what initially drew him to Shazam, and if his ongoing inclination towards making films with younger protagonists, impacted his overall decision about signing on for the DCEU title:
“Yeah, just because it’s like the ultimate wish fulfillment, you know? Every kid wants to be Superman, and here’s a kid who gets the chance to be Superman, and you know, finds out that could also be a challenge.”
Sandberg is a big get to direct Shazam for Warner Bros., especially given the number of changes in director that other DCEU movies have gone through now. A bit of an in-house name for the studio, Sandberg has become one of the most sought after up-and-coming filmmakers working in the industry, having proven himself capable of crafting entertaining, intelligent, and terrifying mainstream horror films with last year’s Lights Out and this year’s Annabelle: Creation (as the early positive Annabelle: Creation reviews are a testament to).
Sandberg isn’t the only experienced horror filmmaker to be tasked with bringing a challenging comic book property to life on the big screen either. Not only did Sinister director Scott Derrickson direct last year’s mind-bending Doctor Strange for Marvel Studios, but The Conjuring helmer, James Wan, is also currently in the midst of production on the DCEU Aquaman movie. However, due to the character’s youthful attitude and his ranking as one of the strongest characters in the entire DC Comics Universe, Shazam has the potential to introduce one of the more charismatic and unexpected onscreen superheroes to come along in recent memory. And it’s difficult to think of another filmmaker more capable of directing of bringing the same kind of visual flair and energy to Shazam than Sandberg.
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