“Shazam!” screenplay writer Henry Gayden has been tapped to write the DC superhero movie’s sequel for DC and New Line, an individual with knowledge of the situation told TheWrap. The filmmaking team of David F. Sandberg and Peter Safran are also expected to return.
The writer has a busy slate as he is also adapting “Last Human,” a live-action science fiction film from Phil Lord and Christopher Miller based on the forthcoming novel of the same name by Lee Bacon, which Sony/TriStar have won in a bidding war. The film is described as a “reverse ET” and tells the story of an artificial intelligence society where three robots discover a human child.
“Shazam!” was the #1 film worldwide this weekend, over-performing expectations with a domestic cume of $56.8 million (inclusive of $3.3m in previews) and $102.3 internationally for a worldwide figure of $159.1 million on a relatively modest budget for a superhero film. New Line’s “Shazam!” is the third hit in a row for Warner Bros. & DC after “Wonder Woman” and “Aquaman.” The crowd-pleasing “Shazam!” earned an ‘A’ Cinemascore with audiences and a stellar 92% certified fresh Rotten Tomatoes score.
“Shazam!” follows the teen-aged Billy (Asher Angel) after he is chosen as the vessel of Shazam (Zachary Levi), an ancient wizard with extraordinary powers. But Shazam probably didn’t count on Billy reacting to becoming a super-powered adult the way most middle- school boys would: by buying beer, goofing around with his excited foster brother, and going to a real estate office to find a super-cool hero lair that would blow Superman’s Fortress of Solitude out of the water. But Billy isn’t the only one that has encountered Shazam. Many years earlier, another boy named Thaddeus Sivana came face-to-face with the wizard but was not chosen as his champion. Now, as a billionaire industrialist, Sivana (Mark Strong) wishes to acquire the magic Shazam has mastered for himself… and only Billy can stop him.
“Shazam!” is directed by David F. Sandberg and also stars Jack Dylan Grazer, Michelle Borth and Djimon Hounsou.
Gayden’s credits also include “Earth to Echo.”
Gayden is repped by UTA and Kaplan Perrone.