With the DC Film universe launching into full swing with Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, their upcoming slate has been on the hot seat for what it will deliver. The recent super hero brawler received many criticisms for not being as much fun as other super hero flicks released before it but does that mean the rest of the DC Extended Universe will follow suit? Not at all.
Suicide Squad looks poised to turn around the tone of the DC Extended Universe with its gang of anti-heroes and witty one-liners showcased in the film's trailers. Then comes Patty Jenkins' Wonder Woman, followed by Justice League, The Flash, and several more. Eventually, we'll get to the Shazam! film which stars Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson as counterpart Black Adam.
Johnson's producer, Hiram Garcia, is a life long comic book fan and couldn't possibly be more excited about the opportunity to work on in the DC canon. In case you haven't heard of the constantly busy producer, Garcia is the VP of Dwayne Johnson and Dany Garcia's Seven Bucks Productions company and his production resume extends from the Fast & Furious franchise to San Andreas to HBO's Ballers.
"We're a good way into development," Garcia tells ComicBook.com regarding the status of Shazam!. "We're expecting a next draft soon which I think is really gonna put us in the zone that we're hoping for."
As for the story we can expect to see when the film, which is scheduled for 2019 but may arrive earlier than planned, there's a certain DC Comics story which Garcia is holding close to his heart. "There's a great opportunity between [Black Adam and Shazam]." Garcia explains. "I was always a fan of Superman and his mythology as I grew up. I remember it was Alex Ross's Kingdom Come that was the first time that ever made me look at Shazam just differently. I always knew of Shazam but I thought Alex Ross portrayed him and drew him in a badass, epic way that helped support the epic conflict him and Superman had. It just made me look at Shazam and think 'This is a bad motherf---er!'"
When it comes to injecting some fun into the film, Garcia is looking to do just that. "That whole world of Shazam and Black Adam is filled with so much great potential. Our take on that world is first and foremost about bad ass fun. Movies like that can of course be grounded with real stakes but it doesn't mean they can't be a blast," he says. "That's the space we always wanted to live in. We have a character in Shazam, a boy in a man's body, having the ultimate in wish fulfillment that I think all comic book fans and fans in general can appreciate. What if you wake up one day and you can just do all this great stuff? Then on the other side, you have this force of nature who is really anchored by what he lost in his family and he's bringing that with him throughout this journey. There's a real grounding there. That combination of Shazam's youth and enthusiasm while being introduced to a whole new world coupled with the dark history of Black Adam makes for a great dynamic. It allows us to not only have real stakes, real story, and real emotion, but a ton of fun in the process. There's no reason that there should ever be a version of this story told that's devoid of that. That's our goal in doing this: following the path of the films that have been coming out and have done such a good job."
Garcia is also ready to acknowledge the massive success Marvel Studios has found in its eight year run to date and it sounds like Shazam! may borrow from the formula a bit when it rolls around. "Marvel has really locked into the ability to tell you really grounded, rooted stories that have real repercussions and there's a real wake that's left after what's the done but while through the whole process they still acknowledge that, and you have a blast while you're watching," Garcia says, before going on to highlight the "banter," and "Dialogue." "They find the moments where you're constantly having fun and you're able to go on the ride and that's the place we're gonna be playing in," he says.
"I promise you dude, we're not gonna f--- this up!" Garcia enthusiastically assures us all. "My vision is so clear for this story and this movie. As story tellers, you sometimes get on projects but this has always been a priority. I've been carrying the Black Adam torch for so many years before we finally locked it in and I'm telling you we're gonna knock this thing out of the park. It's gonna be a blast and it's gonna be a dope ride, so get ready!"
Shazam! is currently set for release April 4, 2019.