“From the
director of Nutty Professor II and the Adam Sandler remake of The
Longest Yard

I don’t
care what genre of movie we’re talking about, that ain’t a good starting point.
And yet, that’s exactly where New Line Cinema decided around this time last
year they wanted to kick off their movie version of Shazam! from when they
hired Peter Segal to direct the film. Since then, little progress has been made
on the project. But that silence has been shattered today with the assignment
of a new screenwriter following in the steps of past departed Shazam!
scribes William Goldman and, most recently, Bryan Goluboff (The
Basketball Diaries

Now, John
August will be scripting the adventures of young Billy Batson and his mythical,
wizard-granted powers. The guy seems to have a track record indicating he’s
good with fantasy material, having written Big Fish and the underrated Titan
, along with the two Charlie’s Angels movies, though I don’t think you can hold either of those against him. The best
news about this is that August promptly realized he didn’t know so much about
the character and reached out for help.

met up with comic book guru Geoff Johns to discuss the character and to make
sure he was taking an approach consistent with the legacy and mythology that
has already been established. Still, given the choice of Peter Segal to direct
and the handing off of this property to New Line instead of the parent Warner
Bros. banner, I get the feeling that broad-appealing, family entertainment that
anybody can sit down and watch is priority one, with faithfulness to the
character’s spirit and history a distant second. I’ve never been a fan
personally, but I don’t want to see generic adaptations of any comic book out there.

the impending casting announcements will bring even more encouraging news. Given the director and general unfamiliarity with the character beyond his basic premise, this film needs all of the help it can get.