Now, whichever side of the much vaunted Marvel vs DC rivalry you find yourself on, it's likely safe to say that you're a pretty big fan of comic-books, or of comic-book themed movies - after all, why else would you care enough to pick a side? It is, in other words, a divide defined largely by what unites us, rather than what separates us. That being said, however, there are a few clearly identifiable ways in which the two strands of mainstream comic-book-dom diverge - not least in Marvel and DC's cinematic universes.
Where Marvel has tended to maintain a light-hearted, comic-relief-infused tone within its movies, DC has thus far struck a more serious path, with its interpretation of classic heroes often facing criticism for being too dark. From the sounds of it, though, that could all be about to change. Y'see...
It Seems Shazam Could Be a Very Different Kind Of DC Movie
Specifically, from the sounds of a recent interview given by longtime Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson collaborator - and Shazam producer - Hiram Garcia to Comicbook.com, it seems that the movie could bring a very different - and explicitly Marvel-esque - tone to the DCEU. As Garcia noted, when asked about the potential influence of Marvel Studios' output on the project:
"They find the moments where you're constantly having fun and you're able to go on the ride and that's the place we're gonna be playing in..."
Which, since Garcia also made sure to position the movie - featuring the legendary and entirely un-Marvel affiliated hero Captain Marvel - as something of an alternative to the grimdark of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice...
"That whole world of Shazam and Black Adam is filled with so much great potential. Our take on that world is first and foremost about bad ass fun. Movies like that can of course be grounded with real stakes but it doesn't mean they can't be a blast."
...isn't all that surprising - especially in the context of the Shazam-shaped part of the DC universe's history. Y'see:
Captain Marvel Has Always Been a Little Different
After all, Captain Marvel, a.k.a. Shazam, wasn't originally a DC superhero at all. Instead, he was the product of Fawcett Comics, and a major hit back in the 1940s in his own right - until DC forced the company to cease publication, claiming that Captain Marvel was a copy of Superman. It wasn't until the 1970s that the hero joined the DC universe proper - at which point his cheerful and upbeat adventures were already well on the way to seeming outdated.
Which successive decades pulling comic-books ever-further away from the naive optimism of most of Captain Marvel's early adventures, though, comic-book writers have often tried to update the hero for a more modern audience - with limited success.
The suggestion that DC is considering a more light-hearted cinematic take on the hero than, say, Batman v Superman, then, can be considered both a fan-friendly reflection of the projects roots, and a pragmatic recognition that few people have any interest in a dark and gritty Shazam.
With that being the case, then...
Could 'Shazam' Turn Out To Be DC's Captain America?
Specifically, could Captain Marvel, or Shazam, or whatever DC opts to call the hero, ultimately play a similar role for DC that Captain America has for Marvel Studios: Namely, that of the seemingly outdated hero, largely written off by commentators, who, via a series of fundamentally entertaining movies, is ultimately reinvented as a modern movie icon?
After all, both Captains (Marvel and America) are, on paper, ridiculously old-fashioned heroes with mildly silly premises (a kid who transforms into a hero by saying a magic word, and a nationally-themed super-soldier with a shield) - and yet we've already seen the latter become a global cinematic juggernaut, as demonstrated by the wild box office success of this summer's Captain America: Civil War. Could Shazam be set to do the same for (the as yet uncast) Captain Marvel?
What do you reckon, though?
Do you think Captain Marvel/Shazam could be the DCEU's Captain America?