Actor-turned-writer Billy Birch is the latest writer who will try to bring the long in-development “Shazam!” adaptation to the screen. The project seems to have now been stuck in development hell for years now but seems to be looking like it might again go in front of the cameras with director Peter Segal (“Get Smart”) still set to direct. To find out a little bit more about “Shazam!” and which superstar comic book writer will be co-writing the script hit the jump.
Geoff Johns (best known for the “Green Lantern” comic book series) has also been hired by the studio to act as consultant and will help kick start the film by co-writing the screenplay with Birch. So, this means that Johns and Birch will now join the long list of writers that have been attached to this project which have included William Goldman (“The Princess Bride”), Bryan Goluboff (HBO’s “In Treatment”), and writing team Joel Cohen and Alec Sokolow (“Cheaper by the Dozen”). John August (“Big Fish”) was the latest writer to be attached to the project. August also publicly talked about the problems of bringing “Shazam!” to the big screen on his blog. That must-read post can be found here.
“Shazam!” seems to be a mostly forgotten about comic property. The series was about Billy Batson, a teenager who becomes Captain Marvel when he utters the magic word “Shazam!” The name is an acronym for six gods and heroes of the ancient world as well as their attributes: the wisdom of Solomon, the strength of Hercules, the stamina of Atlas, the power of Zeus, the courage of Achilles and the speed of Mercury.
I would have loved to have seen John August’s take but for now we will have to wait and see what Birch and Johns can do. Billy Birch has written Peter Segal’s next film “One Finger Salute” while Johns past writing credits include “Blade: The Series” as well as a couple of episodes of “Robot Chicken” There is still no set date for the film and it’s going to be a little while before we get any signs that the film is truly out of development hell and all ready to go.