It's official: Shazam! will be the next DC movie to begin filming, starting in February of 2018, under the direction of David F. Sandberg. The news comes after the shocking revelation that Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson will not be appearing as the villainous Black Adam in Shazam! Johnson has been attached to play Black Adam as far back as 2014 and rumors have suggested for months that we would see a standalone Black Adam movie, possibly even before the release of Shazam!. The Rock is still signed to play Black Adam, so where he'll be introduced has yet to be revealed. It will be interesting to see how this pans out after casting is complete.
The news comes to us via The Hollywood Reporter and their source close to the project has said that the project will begin in February of 2018 with a likely release date of 2019 with David F. Sandberg (Lights Out, Annabelle: Creation) at the helm. The project will be coming from Warner Bros.' sister division New Line and could start production as early as January if everything goes as planned. Shazam! is currently still in the casting phase, but it has been heavily rumored that Armie Hammer with portray Shazam!, but there has yet to be an official confirmation from the studio. That may come during this weekend's big DC panel at Comic-Con.
Without Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson in the first Shazam! it could still leave room for a standalone origin movie for Black Adam and Shazam! who could possibly meet up in a second movie. This is all clearly speculation at this point, but it does make sense. Just because Shazam! is the next DC movie to start production doesn't mean that production for a standalone Black Adam movie couldn't come shortly there after. Johnson has been incredibly busy at the moment and it is very possible that the wait for the movie was too long and his schedule simply filled up.
Originally The Flash was supposed to be the next movie produced by DC, but problems finding a director arose. It has since been rumored that Phil Lord and Chris Miller, who were recently let go from the Han Solo movie, could take over and hopefully get it back on track. Let's just hope they left any ideas of mixing The Flash with Ace Ventura on the set of the Han Solo movie back in England.
DC currently has Justice League in post-production and re-shoots under the watch of Joss Whedon who took over for Zack Snyder a few months back and also has Aquaman in production, rumored to be filming in Hawaii. Plus it seems as if The Batman is starting to get off of the ground as well thanks to director Matt Reeves. And of course, Wonder Woman is still in the top ten at the box office as the highest grossing and best rated DC movie to be released thus far with an announcement for a sequel expecting to come at Comic-Con this weekend. In addition, we can expect some kind of official news regarding Shazam! this weekend as well, quite possibly a casting announcement.