Director Peter Segal is currently hard at work editing the film adaptation of Get Smart (starring Anne Hathaway and Steve Carell), but he soon will be bringing one of DC Comic's greatest superheroes to the big screen. IGN caught up with him, and asked him about his plans for Captain Marvel... Shazam!.
Is it really wise to have a director known for his comedic work bringing Captain Marvel and the others who use the power of Shazam to life? Segal thinks so. "But I think in even some of the best dramas, there's always a sense of humor that you can bring to it," Segal began. "I've read some people who've said I'm trying to make a lighter, funny Shazam!, which is not true. I want to stay very faithful to the source material there. But," he continued, It is a 13-year-old boy who becomes a superhero, and I think there is an element of Big in that and I think there always was in the comic book."
Segal explains that he believes the tone of Shazam is "going to be darker than Fantastic Four," but somewhere in-between that and the first Spider-Man movie. "I think if you look at Peter Parker, there's a great sense of humor he has. [Billy Batson's] a young boy, learning his powers. There's so many wonderful opportunities we have in exploring not just a 13-year-old experiencing being inside the body of a superhero, but also all the emotions that go with that."
Of course, Segal adds, "Then there's also a tragedy that he lost his parents and he's going to one day be avenging the loss of those parents."
But what about casting? Well, it has long been known that there was interest in having Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson attached to the film, probably in the role of Black Adam. Segal worked with Johnson on Get Smart, and the two were looking for something else to do together. When Segal told him about Shazam!, he suggested that Johnson would make a great Black Adam, something that fans agreed with, according to an MTV poll. "And what's fascinating now," Segal says, "I even though the comic book was created and born in 1939 with Captain Marvel as the star, today Geoff Johns has made (Black Adam) one of the preeminent bad guys in several comics. And so that puts even more pressure on Dwayne for that role, in a good way."
Shazam! tells the story of Billy Batson, an orphaned youth who works as a newsboy and was chosen to be a champion of good by the wizard Shazam. When Billy speaks the wizard's name, he is struck by a bolt of mystic lightning that transforms him into an adult superhero known as Captain Marvel. As Marvel, Billy possesses the powers of six mythical figures. Billy is not the only one who has been given this power - in ancient Egypt, a man known as Teth-Adam was given this power by the wizard, becoming Black Adam. Black Adam eventually was corrupted by his power, and the wizard banished him, with Black Adam returning to Earth in the modern era, to do battle with Captain Marvel.
With any luck, the WGA strike will end soon, allowing Segal to begin production on Shazam! Stay tuned to MovieWeb/SuperheroFlix for updates!