The Resurgence Of SUPERMAN May Keep SHAZAM Off The Big Screen According To Peter Segal
The year was 2006, Superman had just returned to the big screen with Bryan Singer’s Superman Returns. The film didn’t pan out quite like Warner Brothers had hoped it would, so they were looking for other avenues and characters to possibly bring to the silver screen out of DC’s extensive library. Cue Shazam.
Toby Emmerich had an idea for the character in which he brought to director Peter Segal. Segal was on board for the idea, but like with a lot of ideas in Hollywood it got caught in the infamous “Development Hell”. The wheels kept spinning on the project, but would never gain any traction. They spun for so long that DC and WB finally got a decent Superman story that did what they wanted at the box office in Man of Steel, and with that, and least in Segal’s eyes, Shazam was no more.
The thing is, Shazam has always lived this tortured life going against Superman. This dates back to the 1930s. Because Captain Marvel had similar powers to Superman, the DC folks back then sued what was the most popular comic book on the stands at that time. Years later, they bought it and it became a DC property but, as long as Superman stays hot in the market place, there seems like a little bit of a crossover between the two characters. After Bryan Singer’s “Superman Returns,” it seemed like there was a moment in time where Shazam was going to see the light of day. That’s when you heard those stories. Now that Superman is being invigorated and going up against Batman, I think it’s difficult for DC to figure out how to launch this character in the wake of Superman’s resurgence.
Based on his answer the interviewer thought it might sound like he was going for more of a kid friendly approach to the movie. Segal explained this wasn’t the case. He was chosen to bring this character to life based on his way of being able to inject humor into action sequences, as he reminded us that after all Shazam is only a boy (Billy Batson) in a superhero body.
I was working with Geoff Johns. At its core, it’s a lot like Superman. There’s this boy trapped inside of a superhero’s body. He’s still a boy inside, so there’s this opportunity to play a lot of humor with the action. Originally, Stan Lee brought me “Fantastic Four” a number of years for that very reason. I always have the question when people bring me superhero properties, “Why me?” With Stan, he said, “It’s because there’s a sense of humor within all Marvel characters.” These characters are flawed and, within those flaws, there is humor. When Toby Emmerich came to me with Shazam, it was because of those same reasons. To draw from that humor and to mix it with great action and pathos.
One never knows how these things will pan out. Johns has emphatically brought Shazam into the New 52 with a great story that was featured in the back pages of Justice League. However, Segal is a realist. And although he has, “always loved Shazam, but I don’t know if it’s going to see the light of day anytime soon.” Hopefully that will change, but for now it looks like we will just have to enjoy Superman. For the latest on Shazam, make sure to check back here at Comic Book Therapy.
Source : Coming Soon