While DC look to move away from interconnected universes in their tentpole superhero films, Warner Bros. looks to be going the other way with their Shazam! movies. Having recently hired Zachary Levi to star in David F. Sandberg‘s superhero film, they’ve now hired a writer to pen the script for their Black Adam film, set to star Dwayne Johnson.
Black Adam was originally supposed to be the antagonist in the Shazam! film, but having lined up Johnson for the role, Warner Bros. has expanded the franchise and given him his own film. Said film will now be penned by Adam Sztykiel (Due Date, Undateable, Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip).
As you can see by Sztykiel’s credits, his background is in comedy (that is, if the Alvin and the Chipmunks films are still considered “comedy” and not some strange form of torture), so signs point to Warner Bros. wanting Black Adam to be more comedic, despite the film centring around a villain.
This fits in well with Johnson’s strengths, as he’s adept at getting laughs and can hold a film on his own. He’s a bigger star than the character he’s playing, so tweaking the role, and the film itself, to fit your megastar more comfortably makes sense.
For anyone worried that Warner Bros. is going to lean too much on the comedy and attempt to mimic some of the more lighthearted MCU films, do not fret, as we’ll certainly get our share of dark superhero films from them once Matt Reeves‘ The Batman and the standalone Deathstroke film hit cinema screens.
After all, this is a franchise that revolves around a kid who becomes a superhero simply when he shouts “shazam!”, I think we can all take some lighthearted, funny superhero films from time to time. The next question is whether Warner Bros. will target a comedic director to helm the film. Stay tuned.