The Longest Yard director Peter Segal, whose Sandleriffic career also includes 50 First Dates and Anger Management has been handed the unenviable task of trying to make Shazam into an interesting modern motion picture for New Line.
The story involves dorky teenager Billy Batson, who meets an ancient wizard/pedophile and is granted the superpowers and queer-looking red costume of a sub-Superman ripoff (complete with spit-curl and square jaw) upon uttering the word “SHAZAM!”, an acronym for mythological/historical figures : ‘S’ for Solomon (wisdom), ‘H’ for Hercules (strength), ‘A’ for Atlas (stamina), ‘Z’ for Zeus (invulnerability), ‘A’ for Achilles (courage) and ‘M’ for Mercury (the ability to fly).
Look, here’s the deal: Shazam sucks. I can’t imagine the character (known as Captain Marvel, although he’s a DC Comics character) was even considered cool in the 1940s. Even an attempt to make him menacing in Kingdom Come didn’t erase childhood memories of the crappy TV show (part of the Shazam/Isis hour!). Trying to turn him into some kind of cinematic icon post-Superman Returns just seems like a colossal waste of time, effort and money when so many more interesting comics could be adapted for the big screen. Besides, I’d much rather see Segal get Steve Carell’s Get Smart movie finished.