Shazam Writer Talks Latest Script Draft

Published 5 years ago by , Updated August 22nd, 2013 at 7:12 pm,

Shazam Header Shazam Writer Talks Latest Script Draft

Back in August we told you that writer/actor Bill Burch was teaming with red-hot comic book scribe Geoff Johns to work on a script for the long-delayed adaptation of DC Comics’ Shazam! Well, MTV recently checked back in with Burch to see how the script was coming along and Burch was kind enough to drop some details about the direction he and Johns are going with Shazam and what fans should and SHOULD NOT expect from the movie.

Also in discussion: the likelihood that we’ll see Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson actually donning the black and gold garb of Captain Marvel’s arch nemesis, Black Adam.

A few things upfront: As of now it’s looking like Get Smart director Peter Segal is still attached to direct Shazam - Segal was linked to the project when it reportedly stalled while in development early this year. However, that D.O.A. report came from a writer working on a previous draft of the script, and since that writer has been replaced and Segal is still apparently onboard, I think it’s safe to extrapolate that DCE/WB had problems with Shazam on a script level, not a directorial one. Bringing on Geoff Johns, a proven master of the DC Universe, probably plugged that particular hole.

Next, here’s what Burch had to say about the longtime rumor that Dwayne Johnson is up for the role of Black Adam:

“My rule of thumb is that no actor is committed to do a movie until the first day of shooting is over with,” Birch explained. “I know that ['Shazam' Director] 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.”

Hmmmm, interesting… That’s not a “yes” but it is FAR from a “no.” Johnson and Segal DO have a working relationship and the actor has been pretty much praised by fans and the blogger elite (that’d be us) as a perfect fit for Black Adam, Captain Marvel – heck, maybe even both roles with a little makeup work! Ok, so that last claim is taking it a bit far, I’ll admit, but you get the idea: a lot of us want The Rock in this flick. It was also very sly how Burch said that Johnson’s involvement will depend on the script, considering Burch himself is currently the guy handling that particular prerequisite. Will The Rock smell what Burch and Johns are cooking? Time will tell…

Undoubtedly the biggest impediment to Shazam has been the question of script tone. Captain Marvel is, after all, a strange case in the super hero universe: geeky boy Billy Batson says a magic word (“Shazam!”) and magically becomes  a superman (he actually switches places with the mystically-bound Captain Marvel, but those are geek details).

As for turning that weird premise into a popular movie: non-geeks need a reason besides quasi-Superman to see it; fanboys need the Shazam universe (and all hallmarks) kept intact to love it; it’s gotta be both a teen-themed flick and a super hero epic, and it will require some F/X wizardry and one spectacular young leading man to pull it all off. Not an easy order to fill.

So how are Burch and Johns handling the challenge? Said Burch:

“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…“The way the story is shaking out…It’ll probably end up with a PG-13 rating…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.”

shazam Captain Marvel Billy Batson Shazam Writer Talks Latest Script Draft

Amen to that. Now we at Screen Rant have debated in the past whether a Shazam movie would benefit from being more “kid friendly” (i.e., a younger Billy Batson sparking profit potential with the young crowd), or perhaps a tongue-in-cheek teenage story with proper dashes of irony (i.e., teen angst explored through a shared-body super hero metaphor). At this point, after waiting so long for this film, I say throw Shia LaBeouf in there to help carry the film and let’s get a crackin’ already! (Ok so maybe another young actor (or not) but you get the idea…)

Read MTV’s full interview with Bill Burch to learn who the writer wants (but can’t get) to play Captain Marvel.

What do you think about Burch and Johns’ vision for Shazam so far? Hitting the right notes or missing the mark?

Source: MTV

TAGS: Shazam
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  1. Next to Wonder Woman, This is the Supehero Adaptation that I am looking forward to the most.
    I wish them Luck.

  2. I’ve never been a huge reader of the comic book, but it seems to me that a movie based on it should be PG and not PG-13 – unless it’s changed significantly since I was a kid (which it very well may have).


  3. PG13 needs to be destroyed. So many films with excellent potential end up pouring it down the drain on the PG13 rating. If you want it dark, just give it an R. If you don’t, PG. Very few films have PG13 suited, and Shazam isn’t one of them. Movie execs are all vying for a comic they can make into a darker-toned movie(hoping to mimic Nolan’s $ucce$$) but they lose the meaning of such characters as Captain Marvel in such iterations. I trust Johns, but the Get Smart director doesn’t seem to be the man to capture the tone of a child who gains the powers of a god, and uses those with his wide-eyed optimism to fight clear cut evil. I’d say let Pixar handle it, make it PG, and don’t worry about the kid-friendly but still adult relevant angle. The story of the young boy with the powers of superman makes it interesting in and of itself.

    Casting suggestion: How about Seth MacFarlane for Captain Marvel himself? Something tells me that would be great to see him playing a little boy stuck in an adult body(think Big, but with superpowers). Thoughts?

  4. I’m sure it’s already been suggested, but I think Patrick Warburton would be perfect for this role. He’s got the look and the build, plus the sense of humor. I don’t think they want to go in the same goofy direction, but check him out as “The Tick” and see what you think.

  5. “Casting suggestion: How about Seth MacFarlane for Captain Marvel himself? Something tells me that would be great to see him playing a little boy stuck in an adult body(think Big, but with superpowers). Thoughts?”

    I agree that it should be pg. I also like the idea of big with superpowers, however The Roc..I’m sorry Dwayane Johnson is perfect for Captain Marvel(Save Black Adam for down the road, and maybe get someone else)Plus The R..I mean Johnson has the chops to do PG. Seth Macfarlane doesn’t really strike me as having the looks or the body to pull it off, though if it was animated I’d say get him for the voice and have Johnson do Black Adam.

  6. I love Patrick Warburton, and believe he’d be great, except he’s too old now, and by the time they shoot it, he’d be way too old. MacFarlane is a tall guy, not particularly bulky but hey, its the movie biz. I think his facial features would be perfect for the boy that transforms into a man, and he could portray the character well. As far as the Rock playing Black Adam, you don’t get much better than that. And who else would Billy Baston’s alter-ego fight? Speaking of Billy, how about the boy from Where the Wild Things Are?

  7. I wonder, would they script a film so that it’s both, PG and PG-13? Can you satisfy an older audience by adding the scenes or the stock you have to trim to capture both audiences? Now, could you release them at the same time? Could you stagger them? Would you release your kids with their friends to see the PG version and reserve the experience for yourself and your older kids say a few weeks for the more mature version? Would your 13 year old son be willing to wait? Could that test of patience teach our kids something? Love to see the results of the social experiment…

  8. While I like Family Guy a lot, MacFarlane is a douche.

  9. Warburton ftw. He was also in Get Smart and looked (well pretty much Captain Marvel like tbh) young enough. Having read the link and seeing Burch wanted Reynolds (like him, a lot but not as Marvel) I think we should wrest the power of casting from his hands… Spooooooooon!!

  10. I still couldn’t decide on who I would like to see play Billy Batson and “The Big Red Cheese” but I totally like the idea of Dwayne Johnson playing Black Adam! I mean, the Black Adam character is usually drawn with the eyebrows arched upwards and Dwayne (as WWE’s “The Rock”) does that eyebrow arching thing pretty well (can you smell what the Rock is cooking?).

    I think the Black Adam character can be a “franchise character” for Dwayne. The Scorpion King could have been a “franchise” for him too but, Hollywood took another direction and just made a direct to video prequel about the Scoprion King. Pitty…

  11. Looking forward to this but they need a less schlocky director

  12. Plan B: Owain Yeoman. Better than MacFarlane. Younger than Warburton, but also a big guy. Catch him as Rigsby on the Mentalist.

  13. As for not reading and knowing what Shazam is like now…. well he is not like Fawcett portrayed him. Of course it depends where you pick up reading him.

    His character is deep…. Then you can look at things like Mary Marvel sporting black latex and Black Adam killing thousands with his bare hands and that may give you a little idea on other Shazam characters.


  14. I dunno much about Captain Marvel, but any movie with a kid who has to say, “Shazam”, probably shouldn't take itself too seriously. If 'The Rock' was Black Adam, if they explored the Batson kid's personality development as a result of this new found responsibility and fears, and still manage to incorporate humor, I'd watch it.

  15. Damn dude, I just saw a few images of this guy, and I can small what you're cooking. Yeoman could really easily pull off Capt. Marvel with some exercise and makeup. His face is perfect for the role.