There's a lot of variables being juggled high up in the air right now when it comes to the DC movie universe. But one thing that is sure, we're getting a Shazam! movie. And sooner than anyone is probably expected. The future of the DCEU is in question, as DC and Warner Bros. consider splintering their upcoming movies into various different cinematic universes. But Shazam! is unique in that it's coming from sister studio New Line, which will allow it to crossover with the DCEU while standing within its own perimeters not beholden to that continuity. Director David F. Sandberg recently shared some of his plans for the superhero adventure, hinting that a production start date is immanent. And that his shape-shifting hero will be played by two different actors.
Shazam! has sat quietly in its own corner of the DCEU over the past couple of years. Dwayne Johnson has often talked about his role in the movie as villain Black Adam. But it has since been confirmed that his character was completely cut out of the script and will be getting his own standalone movie sometime in the future. Now, it sounds like the Rock-less Shazam! movie will be the next adventure to shoot following the now in production Aquaman. That puts it ahead of The Flash, which was supposed to be next, but ran into some road blocks as one director after the next bailed.
Shazam! will begin shooting in the early half of 2018. There isn't an exact date, but it sounds like February or March, perhaps sooner. It is expected that Shazam! is moving forward so quickly because they were able to nail down director David F. Sandberg, who has a vision for what he wants this movie to be. The man's involvement was confirmed last month at Comic-Con. The filmmaker, who recently released Annabelle: Creation into theaters to terrify audiences, had this to say about his upcoming plans, giving Collider the update.
"Pretty much going into Shazam! right away. I mean my life's just become so weird because I got to do Lights Out and immediately afterward I got to do Annabelle and now I'm going straight into Shazam, so it's like I'm on a roll so let's just keep going until they kick me out of Hollywood."
Sandberg refused to give an actual start date. But he did offer up these thoughts.
"Yeah, I don't know if it's official. ... It's coming up."
With The Rock out of the picture, no actors have been confirmed for Shazam yet. The story revolves around a child-turned-superhero. The director has confirmed that there will be one actor playing the young boy at the heart of this tale, Billy Batson, while someone else will step in and fill the beefy shoes of Shazam. There won't be just one actor who gets de-aged via CGI. About that option, Sandberg says this.
"Yeah, I wouldn't want to do that. That seems like way too much of a hassle. So I think it's just kind of best to have a kid and an adult."
De-aging actors has become a fad as of late in recent blockbusters. Most notably Marvel has utilized the technology with some of its releases. About the process, Sandberg offers these thoughts.
"Yeah, they've done quite well, I mean Kurt Russell was in the latest Guardians was really well made I thought, but I think there's a limit to it as well. You probably can't do someone to be a kid. Why create that hassle for yourself?"
It does sound like quite a hassle to base an entire movie on a de-aged actor. Especially when one of them is so young. It hasn't really ever been attempted where an adult actor gets de-aged as a teen boy. Which could be interesting but might ultimately be too distracting. It is expected that the casting of both Billy Batson and Shazam will be announced soon. While the rest of the DCEU is being sorted out, we can pretty much guarantee that will see Shazam in theaters soon.