How Batman Managed To Kill Captain Marvel

Illustration for article titled How Batman Managed To Kill Captain Marvel

Hope you weren't waiting to see a big-screen version of DC Comics' Captain Marvel — because the Shazam movie is very dead, according to its writer. And he's pointing some fingers of blame.


Writing on his blog about the death of the Shazam movie, John August knows just what caused the movie to pass through multiple drafts, contradictory notes from the studio, and other forms of torture, leading to its slow death:

In retrospect, I can point to two summer Warner Bros. movies that I believe defined the real issue at hand: Speed Racer and The Dark Knight. 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.


With August initially describing his view of Shazam as "Like Big, but with superpowers," it's no surprise that a Warner Bros. looking for movies to be closer to The Dark Knight than Speed Racer's whimsical eye candy, but that doesn't necessarily stop us from wistfully wondering what could have been.

Shazam! It ain’t happening. [John August]

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What WB didn't understands is that The Dark Knight is not a dark movie. Batman Returns is a dark movie: almost entirely set by night, physically disgusting characters (The Penguin), a bad wolves in sheeps clothing (Max Shrek), a kind of perversion of innocent things (Christmas, Umbrella, Yellow Duck).

The Dark Knight, like Iron Man, is a real movie. The filmaker took their subject seriously, like if it was real. Sure, they made jokes in Iron Man. But there are jokes in our real life.

I was never enthusiastic about this movie. But after seeing Get Smart, I must say I would give a chance to a movie with the Rock and Peter Segal.