CineFOOLS recently got a chance to talk to Bill Birch about co-writing the screenplay for Shazam! with Geoff Johns. Peter Segal has been attached to direct Warner Bros.’ adaptation of the DC Comics series featuring Captain Marvel for three years.
Shazam! centers on teenaged Billy Batson, who transforms into the superhero when he says the word “Shazam!”
“Geoff and I are in the thick of it, creating a kickass update that still honors the lore that’s been created in over 50 years of Marvel storylines,” Birch told the site, adding that they are not using the previously-written scripts and starting fresh.
Birch says he remembers “being fascinated with the idea that a kid could just say ‘Shazam!’ and become a superhero. It’s the ultimate in wish fulfillment and obviously that will be a theme in the script.”
Asked whether this project will be dark and gritty, Birch said that “the way the story is shaking out, Geoff and I see this not as ‘dark’ as ‘Dark Knight’ but definitely as cool. It’ll probably end up with a PG-13 rating.”
He said that the most important thing to get right is the tone. “Tonally I think it’s important to successfully find the balance of comedy and danger in the story. That’s a major aspect I’m focusing on. Frankly hitting the right tone is what’s going to either get this made or keep it in development hell.”
You can read more of Birch talking about the cast here.