Although Dwayne Johnson has been loosely attached to a big screen take on DC Comics’ Shazam for some time now, plans are now finally moving forward to not just bring the adventures of Billy Batson and his superpowered alter ego to the big screen, but to also develop the story of Johnson’s Black Adam as well. MTV caught up with the Furious 7 star over the weekend and learned a bit more about what fans can expect from the Shazam movie, currently planned for release on April 5, 2019.
“[S]tarting off properly is him not being a hero,” Johnson tells the outlet. “That’s got to be earned, so he starts off as a slave. And he’s pissed off, and people are going to pay. But eventually down the line he’ll become an anti-hero.”
Created in 1939 by artist C. C. Beck and writer Bill Parker, Shazam first appeared in Fawcett Comics’ Whiz Comics #2. By saying the world “Shazam,” teenager Billy Batson was transformed into the “world’s mightiest mortal” and given the wisdom of Solomon, the strength of Hercules, the stamina of Atlas, the power of Zeus, the courage of Achilles and the speed of Mercury. Originally known as Captain Marvel, legal disputes between DC and Marvel comics over the decades led to the hero receiving an official name change in 2011.
“No, we haven’t picked a Shazam yet,” Johnson continues, “and we have been working on the script. Half the scripts [have] already come in. Fantastic, very excited about it. And what I’m really excited about is — because, again, I’ve lived with this character, and this opportunity for almost 10 years now, so it’s like, in my DNA! I’m like a little kid, and it’s the opportunity to create his journey, but that journey has to start out properly… I can’t wait to share more casting news by the way.”
Jack the Giant Slayer scribe Darren Lemke is currently penning the script for Shazam, which is set to be released April 5, 2019, just a month before Marvel’s Avengers: Infinity War Part II. Johnson previously hinted, however, that Shazam could arrive even sooner, so check back for details as they become available.