Screenwriter John August has posted an article on his blog and announced that a big screen adaptation of Shazam is dead. Here’s some of what he had to say.
“When we turned the new draft in to the studio, we got a reaction that made me wonder if anyone at Warners had actually read previous drafts or the associated notes. The studio felt the movie played too young. They wanted edgier. They wanted Billy to be older. They wanted Black Adam to appear much earlier. (I pointed out that Black Adam appears on page one, but never got a response.)”
August actually places some of the blame on the failure of Speed Racer and success of The Dark Knight. That situation, August says, has pushed Hollywood executives to, incorrectly, believe that in order for a comic book movie to be a success, it has to be dark:
“The first flopped; the second triumphed. Given only those two examples, one can understand why a studio might wish for their movies to be more like the latter. But to do so ignores the success of Iron Man, which spent most of its running time as a comedic origin story, and the even more pertinent example of WB’s own Harry Potter series. I tried to make this case, to no avail.”