FIRST LOOK: Captain Marvel takes flight -- but will he ever reach the big screen?
This article was originally on a blog post platform and may be missing photos, graphics or links. See About archive blog posts.
Will we ever hear the word ‘Shazam!’ on the big screen? In the the golden age of the 1940s, Captain Marvel outsold Superman for a time and the concept of the character -- a youngster who utters a magic word and is transformed into the World’s Mightiest Mortal -- seems tailor-made for a family film and there has been plenty of efforts put into making the movie happen.
I suspect we will see Captain Marvel take flight now that Diane Nelson and Geoff Johns are at the fore of a new Warner Bros. initiative to better mine the DC library but don’t be surprised if the hero is at the center of a live-action, prime-time television series instead of a feature film. There are some rumblings about going in that direction although it’s too early to call it much more than focused chatter.
Also, consider this: August (and others in Hollywood) liked the idea of adding a time-limit component to the character’s traditional mythology; essentially, Billy Batson would only be able to inhabit his super-powered alter ego for, say, an hour at a time.
That would add opportunities for peril and also explain why Batson would ever bother shifting back to his more mundane identity. The time-limit and transformation scenes would make the character a natural for episodic television -- just like ‘The Incredible Hulk,’ arguably the best comic-book adaptation in network television history.
In the meantime, Captain Marvel will step into the spotlight with a new animated adventure: ‘Superman/Shazam! The Return of Black Adam,’ which premieres on Blu-ray and DVD on Nov. 9 as the centerpiece of ‘DC Showcase,’ a collection of shorts from the Warner Premiere that also features Jonah Hex, Green Arrow and the Spectre. The four shorts add up to about an hour.
The Captain Marvel short -- you can see some images above -- features voice work by Jerry O’Connell (‘Crossing Jordan') as Captain Marvel, Arnold Vosloo (‘The Mummy') as bad-guy Black Adam and George Newbern reprising his ‘Justice League’ role as Superman. Also, two-time Emmy Award winner James Garner (‘The Rockford Files') as the Wizard.
-- Geoff Boucher
ARTWORK: DC Comics/Warner Premiere