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It was just back in August that screenwriter Bill Birch signed on to tackle the Shazam movie, meaning that he's knee-deep in all things Captain Marvel at the moment. But he still took the time for a conversation with Cinefools, and gave them some updates on where he's going with what could very well be the next big DC Comics superhero movie.
Shazam has been in development for ages now, and Birch says he's taking some of those earlier scripts into consideration as he creates the new script. And while the rumors that they would try to make the movie grittier, a la The Dark Knight, aren't true, there should be at least a little edge to it: The way the story is shaking out, Geoff and I see this not as "dark" as Dark Knight but definitely as cool. It'll probably end up with a PG-13 rating."
As for casting, Birch kind of jokes around about a suggestion that Adam Sandler, based on director Peter Segal's past collaborations with him, would play Captain Marvel, with Rob Schneider as Black Adam. But it's a much more consideration that Dwayne Johnson, who worked with Segal on Get Smart, will have the job. "My rule of thumb is that no actor is committed to do a movie until the first day of shooting is over with," Birch hedges, while admitting that the actor and the director have a relationship. But he had someone else in mind for the role before he got snapped up by another franchise. "I always thought Ryan Reynolds would have been interesting but now that he’s Green Lantern that’s not an option."
None of this gives me any reason to think that Shazam will be good or bad, but it is refreshing to hear a screenwriter open up about his ideas while he's still in the writing process.