Zack Snyder may be setting the pace for the DC Cinematic Universe with as director of Man of Steel, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, and Justice League, along with producing (and sometimes co-writing) Wonder Woman, Aquaman, and The Flash, but there's at least one movie on DC's film slate he won't have a hand in - Shazam!.
There has been some question as to whether Shazam! will be set in the DC Cinematic Universe proper or if it will stand alone, and as it turns out, the answer is a bit of both. According to producer Dany Garcia, Shazam! is set in that world, but has an entirely different team working on it behind the scenes.
“Shazam! is to live in the same world [as the other films] but we have incredible autonomy over this brand and franchise. We are working with a different team, different producers, directors… it’s a different set-up," Garcia told Newsweek. "We don’t feel fettered by, or constrained by, the successes or failures and challenges of the other projects. That was a key component to our participation—that we be able to control the tone and the voice, and do it the way we want to. It needs to be of the world.'
“You’ve got Justice League, Wonder Woman with a different director, so you’re going to see different points of view. I think by the time we land with [Shazam!] we’ll fit nicely within the world that’s been created, but not such a shorthand relationship. [It’ll be] enough that people say, ‘Oh, this is within the family,’ but the culture will be a little different.”
Right now, the only real detail that's known about the film is that superstar actor Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson will star as Shazam's arch-enemy, Black Adam. Johnson is also co-producing the film.
According to Garcia, things are moving forward slowly to ensure that the project stands out from other superhero franchises and stays true to the tone of the story.
“We’re getting [script] drafts in… it’s important to make sure we get the tone right for Black Adam, which is Dwayne’s part,” Garcia explained. “We don’t mind taking our time. We’re being very careful with each act and scene to go back and layer in as much as possible.”
“We’ve got so many wonderful superhero franchises out there… we don’t need to run away from them and say ‘we can’t be that,’ but it’s important to understand what are the best aspects of a Batman [movie] versus Avengers versus Deadpool? What are the elements people are responding to? We want to move the needle.”
Shazam! is scheduled for an April 5, 2019 theatrical release.