- Batman Week on Twitter; Plus Wonder Woman's Motion PosterNovember 1, 2017
- Movie Review: THOR: RAGNAROKNovember 1, 2017
- Kingpin Will Return in The Third Season of Netflix's DaredevilOctober 26, 2017
- Superhero Pumpkin Ideas for Halloween 2017October 26, 2017
Good Day For Black (Adam) Rock…And The Rest Of Us
September 5, 2014 By Steve Kuncewicz
I’ve written before about the developing DC Cinematic Universe. It’s been a tantalising possibility for so long, that even when Warner Bros. reserved NINE release dates for the four years following the release of “Batman V Superman” in 2016, it was still easy to be hesitant (as Warners have been) about the possibility of what may be coming our way.
After all, Marvel has ten movies and a track record. It has an enviable mix of big stars and high-quality character actors signed up to long-term deals to appear in a constantly-evolving and predetermined interweaved web of franchises. It has The Avengers. Guardians Of The Galaxy has just become the highest-grossing film of 2014 at the US Box Office. Joaquin Phoenix may be about to sign on with them.
The game, however, is changing at a rapid pace. Warners is assembling its own talent roster, and although it’s missing a Downey, it has up-and comers. Oscar nominees, Broadway Veterans and….the most electrifying man in all of entertainment.
Yes, after months of Twitterbait, The Rock has announced that he’s joined the cast of the now-official “Shazam” movie..as its villain. Let’s face it, The Rock has more than proven himself as a hugely charismatic leading man over and above his obvious clout as an action star, so why does this matter and why should you be as giddy as I am?
“Shazam” has a major USP when compared to any other film on Marvel or even DC’s slate. It’s new, and it’s different. Although there was an übercampy 70s TV adaptation of the character (then called Captain Marvel…stay with me, folks) that I wouldn’t advise you to seek out on YouTube, this new version is the first time that Shazam has been given a shot at big-screen stardom. If the audience will accept Rocket Raccoon, then the Big Red Cheese shouldn’t be a major stretch.
What makes Shazam different is that the title character’s secret identity (whether he’s named Captain Marvel or Shazam-the former’s just too damn confusing and led to all sorts of litigation a few decades ago) is a kid; an Orphan who happens across an immortal wizard who grants him amazing power when he speaks a magic word. Imagine “Big” in spandex and you’re not far off.
It’s also going to be a significantly lighter film in terms of its tone, which may mean that it’s not going to start out as an immediate part of the DCCU. Shazam’s powers are similar in nature and level to Superman’s, but he actually has a slight edge over the Blue Boy Scout in that they’re based in magic, to which Superman is vulnerable. It’s wish-fulfilment for a huge audience that Marvel has tapped into but not yet made anything specific for. Not that this means that Shazam will be a kid’s movie; it’ll just be an easier sell for families. Throw Harry Potter in with Big, and we’re well on the way to a pretty compelling nascent franchise.
Which leads us to Shazam’s secret weapon. The Rock is playing Shazam’s arch-nemesis. He’s a doozy – a villain who becomes an antihero, with violent methods which he believes are justifies and a major chip on his shoulder as the former champion of the Wizard who gave Shazam his power. Imagine DC’s answer to Loki, played by an actor who’s a legitimate physical presence. Thor mined a similar conflict in three movies, and Black Adam could take on the Justice League just like Loki did the Avengers.
All of a sudden, Marvel’s lead is narrowing. What The Rock is cooking smells pretty good to the mainstream audience, and his star power is just what the DCCU needs to start gaining ground with a vengeance. If you don’t believe me, ask the man himself….
Previous ArticleComic review: Death of Wolverine #1
Next ArticleTHOR #1 Variant Covers and 3-Page Preview