Shazam takes a rest

One downside of THE DARK KNIGHT's unstoppable box office success: now Warner Bros. apparently believes that "dark and gritty" is the only way to go for comic book projects. Because copying something successful always works. Except for all those times it actually doesn't.

One casualty of this new paradigm at WB (which owns DC Comics and its stable of heroes and other properties) is apparently SHAZAM. It was presumed to be the next project from director Peter Segal (GET SMART) and would feature Dwayne 'Ex-The Rock' Johnson and a script by John August (CHARLIE'S ANGELS, BIG FISH).

But now August himself reports that the studio, flinching after the financial failure of SPEED RACER and propelled by the monumental bankroll generated by TDK, wanted to take the story (about a kid who can transform into a red-suited superhero named Captain Marvel) in a more adult direction. ''The studio felt the movie played too young. They wanted edgier. They wanted Billy to be older. They wanted [villain] Black Adam to appear much earlier."

August is quite candid about the entire disheartening experience, including the studio's staggering lack of communication and the project's subsequent disappearance from view, which you can read RIGHT HERE at his official site.

Extra Tidbit: Captain Marvel's arch nemesis Doctor Sivana referred to him as "The Big Red Cheese."
Source: John August



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