Dany Garcia Discusses The Shazam! Movie

Dany Garcia, one of Dwayne Johnson’s producing partners for Seven Bucks Productions and on the Shazam! movie talked exclusively with NewsWeek, and provided an update on where the movie stands.

She had this to say:

“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. 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.”

I find that first part about the script disappointing. It simply means that they are still at basically the same exact point they were at the last time we got an update almost three months ago. In other words, it is a non-update.

While it is important that they take the time they need to get the script and the story right, I was hoping they had moved past that part and got the script finished. After all, it has been two years since Darren Lemke was announced as the writer. The script should be finished by now. Just how much more time do they need? Alas, no deal.

Next, there is another nugget that follows in that statement – a very inconspicuous one: they appear to have what remains a high level of focus on Black Adam. This is cause for concern for Captain Marvel fans, because since the Shazam! movie’s official announcement, there has yet to be repetitive talk of getting anyone other than Black Adam right.

No one outside of Hiram Garcia has yet to talk about getting Billy Batson and Captain Marvel right. What this could imply is that their number one priority all along has been Black Adam, as opposed to who the focus should rightfully be on; Captain Marvel. This does nothing to abate fears that the Shazam! movie will be a vehicle movie for Black Adam. This is something that bears watching very, very closely.

However, Garcia did share a little bit more detail about how the Shazam! movie fits in with the other DC movies from Warner Bros. It’s not exactly a direct confirmation (official statement), but it supports Dwayne Johnson’s statement from last year about the Shazam! movie being planned to be a part of the DCEU, yet quite independent so we can be safe in assuming that the Shazam! movie is actually and officially in the DCEU:

“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.

While I prefer otherwise, that is good news for for DCEU fans who want the Shazam! movie to be a part of the DCEU, even as an adjacent world.

Even better is that Garcia reinforces the notion that they have a lot of liberty, free from most bureaucratic pressures by the creative decision-makers on the other side of the DCEU. This suggests there will be little interference from the likes of Zack Snyder or Geoff Johns, who is co-running the DC Films division that is overseeing the long-term direction of the DCEU.

GOOD.

Also interesting to note is that Garcia not only mentions their arrangement will consist of other producers, but other directors. It seems to be spoken in a hypothetical tense, as if it was an indication that they do not yet have an idea who will be the director. If so, it would be quite the indicator of where the movie stands.

Of course, that is not to say that if they do not know who will be the director, it does not mean that they do not have some candidates that they are considering.

Still, we already knew that. There is not much of an update. Except for the part in the interview where Garcia also said basically that she does not feel as if the Shazam! movie getting made will be contingent upon the success or the failure of the other DC films and adds that she thinks it will fit in nicely with the DCEU.

“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.”

(Good!)

“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.”

Well, that is actual news we have not yet heard, and it is good news. Seems like no matter what happens, they are going to proceed with the Shazam! movie.

If the Shazam! movie is to succeed, it will need to be made without bureaucratic interference by people who have a clear vision for their movie and the character and how it fits within the larger DC world. In other words, let your creators create. Let them figure out how to complement a fun and whimsical Captain Marvel into the same world as the grim/dark/depressed one that Superman resides in without shortchanging each character or the work of other creators.

Garcia seems to feel that way, too.

As always, SHAZAM! Until next time, Captain Marvel fans!

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