“Shazam!” will be the next DC Extended Universe movie to be filmed, a representative for New Line told TheWrap.
David Sandberg, the horror filmmaker behind “Lights Out” and “Annabelle: Creation,” will direct the film. Filming will begin in February 2018 for a likely 2019 release.
Shazam debuted in 1939 with the original name of Captain Marvel. Created by C.C. Beck and writer Bill Parker, the character was first published by Fawcett Comics. He is the alter-ego of teenager Billy Batson who can transform into a full-grown adult superhero with the power of six gods after saying “Shazam!”
Dwayne Johnson will star and produce in a Black Adam spinoff, based on a main “Shazam!” villain, but it’s not clear yet whether he will appear in the “Shazam!” movie.
After the success of “Wonder Woman,” Warner Bros. DC Extended Universe is riding a high, and this week scheduled two DC films for 2020. The Patty Jenkins-directed female superhero film starring Gal Gadot has grossed nearly $770 million worldwide and rejuvenated the universe after “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” and “Suicide Squad” fell flat with critics. However, the studio is putting “Shazam!” on its smaller New Line imprint instead of the main Warner Bros. banner.
“Shazam!” also marks a stratospheric rise for Sandberg, who was directing horror movies on his iPhone until Warner Bros. caught wind of what he was doing and adapted one of his films into 2016 surprise hit “Lights Out.”