You may have heard the bad news about our beloved superhero, Captain Marvel/Shazam. The fact that the movie may never happen because WB/DC are concentrating on Dark, Gritty superhero movies (..that's right, I'm talking to you Man of Steel...).
Just because WB/DC are heading to a new direction, doesn't mean that you can't make a Captain Marvel movie and besides they wouldn't want to disappointed Shazam fans.
Here are four steps to make a Shazam movie in DC Cinematic Universe (Man of Steel timeline).
Step One: Just make a dark and gritty movie
If DC's cinematic universe will be dark and gritty, then use the exact tone to make the movie. But the movie should be done correctly because some Superman fans hated 'Man of Steel' because of the new direction (in my opinion, I think it worked successfully). To make the movie successful, you need to keep it true to the comics. This was the exact problem with 'Man of Steel' because it lacked the storyline from various comics ('Birthright', 'Earth One', 'All Star Superman', etc..)
People who says a Shazam movie is unlikely; is the exact same thing about a Batman movie. Until Tim Burton directed the movie, in 1989, which was very successful. If a Batman movie was successful, why not a Shazam movie?
In fact, WB/DC could use similar tone from 2012's 'The Amazing Spider-Man'. It balances the dark/gritty tone and lighthearted tone. You can have the atmosphere of the movie dark/gritty but you can keep the characters and , maybe, the storyline lighthearted.In my opinion expect the movie's tone to be similar to 2012's TASM.
Step Two: What to expect?
If I'm watching a Shazam movie, I expect a 10 year old boy named Billy Batson, who shouts out the word 'Shazam', transform into a Superman like figure called 'Captain Marvel'. Many Shazam fans would expect to see a young boy enjoying his life as a superhero and learning what it means to be a true hero. That's an idea for a lighthearted story for the movie.
For a dark and gritty story: we need to see how Billy deals with loneliness, orphanage and school bullying.
Mostly the key subject should be Billy's desperation to search for a family. I believe it's a good way to introduce the main character and besides the 'family' idea has been used on "The Power of Shazam!" from "Batman: Brave and Bold".
The movie should have Superman/Man of Steel references because:
- Billy Batson idolises Superman
- It would be amusing to see civilians to believe Shazam is Superman
- It's just to ensure that the movie connects to the 'Man of Steel' timeline.
Step Three: use of supporting cast and choice of villain(s)
The movie will need to use the right choice of supporting cast to be featured in the movie (most characters are based on comics):
- Tawny the Tiger - A mystical tiger who trains Billy Batson to become a strong hero. I would like to see Tawny shapeshift as a human so he can communicate with Billy in wide public.
- Wizard Shazam - A powerful wizard who chose Billy as his champion and guide to be a true hero. I would like to see the wizard as a father figure for Billy.
- Freddy Freeman - Freddy is a crippled newsboy and Billy's only friend. He should be the only character to know his identity.
- Mary Batson - She is billy's long lost brother and adopted by her foster parents. She should be featured at the end of the movie as Billy finally finds a family.
The main bad guy should be no other but 'Black Adam'. He is Shazam's greatest enemy and considered powerful threat in the DC Universe. He is the opposite of Shazam/Captain Marvel as he is ruthless, powerful and vengeful. Black Adam is the main reason how Billy becomes Shazam.
Step Four: Choice of Directors
The director that I want for a Shazam movie should be Matt Reeves. His notable work are 'Cloverfield', 'Let me In' and 'Dawn of Planet of the Apes'. I chose him because his movie 'Let Me In' captures dark side of humanity like orphanage, loneliness and and bullying. Also his movies are very suspense and exhilarating (like 'Cloverfield').
At the end of the day, you can make a Shazam movie work in a dark and gritty setting but it takes a lot of effort to make it right. I hope the article helps and gives future film plan for WB/DC.