Tuesday, July 17, 2018

SHAZAM FOOTAGE LEAKED! (I think...really?)

Well, the production has wrapped, and no doubt the various editors and special effects people are  working their little tails off trying to make the new "SHAZAM!" movie as awesome as possible, and of course the PR department is working every bit as hard to make everyone THINK that it is as awesome as possible.

So we got these pictures so far...


...which are essentially confirming what has been said about what this movie will be since the beginning: "Big" with superheroes (though there was one article that did not catch the "Big" was a movie title and presented the quotation as "...it's big with superheroes.").

Sidenote: The director, David F. Sandberg, used Instagram to post cryptic pictures allegedly symbolizing the progress of his Journey as he researched and planned for the making of this movie. I wonder if the Coke cans in these pictures (below) had anything to to with the above scene?

As a further sidenote, I must have missed this particular picture on Sandberg's Instagram. I was watching them the bet that I could, and was very heartened by the presence of Fawcett publications and action figures of the classic Captain Marvel. It made me think that maybe this movie would be about the original Captain Marvel, and not this New 52 character named "Shazam." Had I seen the picture above, I would have known those hopes were futile.

In any event, that oft-repeated line, "'Big' with superheroes," kept on hitting me. The original Captain MArvel,. of which I am a fan, was not a boy in a grown-up's body, but ever since Roy Thomas created "SHAZAM! A New Beginning" after the "Crisis on Infinite Earths" in 1986, that has been the dominant interpretation of the hero. Sometimes it has led to some interesting dramatic story twists and turns, like in DC's "Underworld Unleashed" miniseries, "JSA series from the 1990's, and a Teen Titans animated series.

But all too often it has been played for goofy humor, starting with Keith Giffen's and Kevin McGuire's post-"Crisis" "Justice League."

So now. apparently, someone showed some preview footage of the new movie in Ukraine, and thanks to the magic of the Internet (through which Asher Angel, who plays Billy Batson shared it), we can see it!




So that's why they have been harping on that early Tom Hanks movie! So that when people saw this scene they would get the pop-culture reference!

But I really think that is a cheap joke. Aside from the fact that F.A.O. Schwartz, the world-famous toy store tin which the original scene took place, is not there any more, I will positively cringe if I have to watch the Zachary Levy as the hero dancing on a floor piano in a toy store!

I was ready to accept that this character had a different name from the original hero. He was different enough that it was better that he not be named "Captain Marvel." But now...I just don't know if I can take it.

In any event, here is the rest of the footage...


So we see the Cola scene, some characters flying through the air as if hurled by the Force, and Mark Strong as Sivana catching the hero's punch. We also see flashes of the original New 52 story that introduced this character.

This all confirms that this is an adaptation of the New 52 story, with Sivana's role enlarged to make up for the lack of Black Adam. It's all too brief to tell for sure how good it will look in its final form., andin the end, this film willbe judged on its execution.

Hurry up and watch these clips, because Asher says he will be taking them down soon!

You can see the full article from ComicBookMovie here.

So what do you think of these clips? Post your impressions below and subscribe to this blog for the most insightful updates on the many different Captain Marvels!

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Filimg of "SHAZAM!" is over, promo push begins!

Well, it's in the can, and now it is up to the editors to put it together and the PR people to get people to go see it!

That's right, a few weeks ago it was announced the the filming of the new DC movie "SHAZAM!" based on the New 52 character who is a re-interpretation of the original Captain Marvel, was wrapped, the first promo pictures have been released, and the director has even started making his own spoofs.

Of course, this is all in keeping with the expectations and statements that this is going to be a "lighter" movie than those in the latest wave of DC superhero movies.

I may write something more insightful later, but this is a very busy week for me!

Here is the article to which this post specifically refers.

And here is a little article with the image that appears above in which the director talks about the reasons for the costume design.

Thursday, May 3, 2018

Complete, Up-To-Date cast list for Marvel's "Captain Marvel" movie

As my busy life and propensity for verbosity does not allow me to be Johnny-on-the-spot with these posts about late-breaking developments, I am just going to throw this one up here now with minimal commentary and ...maybe...get back to it later.

But for the record, CinemaBlend has collected all the confirmed "heroes and villains" for the upcoming "Captain Marvel" movie from Marvel Studios.

A quick scan confirms the usual, Carol Danvers, Mar-Vell, Nick Fury. It does add a wrinkle I had not considered, the black female character played by Lashana Lynch may be a mother, and her daughter may turn out to be Monica Rambeau, which I think would be a nice touch.

Ben Mendelsohn may or may not be playing Yon-Rogg, and though that character has been drawn several different ways, I think his face would fit. I also think his performance in "Star Wars: Rogue One" had a bit of what I imagine the Kree colonel's character to be.

Flashback to Carol Danvers' youth might reveal McKenna Grace as her young self, which could be nice. CArol Danvers' character is no Superman (at least in the classic, Silver-to-modern age,  Christopher Reeve version). Rather than being a person grown up with a wholesome, supportive family and easily ensconced in a respectable, journalism job, she rebelled against her MCP father and joined the Air Force. Her job in journalism was stormy and tempestuous, as her boss objected to her vision of the magazine for which she was hired as editor in chief, and she is constantly striving to push beyond her abilities as a superhero, and what people expect of her as a person, and as a female person. Showing some of that backstory could set up some interesting, non-traditional struggles for a superhero.

I like that Minn-Erva (being played by Gemma Chan), Ronan the Accuser (Lee Pace), and Mar-Vell (Jude Law) are all in the movie. That indicates we are going to have some real Kree intrigue, and that is what the first couple of years of Marvel's first Captain Marvel was all about.

I suppose I can go into  more detail later about what all this means, but I do want to point out this picture which I presume is from that recent gorilla movie, that illustrated Brie Larsen's entry in the article:

Note the shirt, open but knotted, indicating a casual sexiness, yet practicality. Carol Danvers wore a shirt like that once. I will scan some pictures from that issue, post it, and talk about it later.

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Is Lashana Lynch playing Monica Rambeau in Marvel's "Captain Marvel"? (Clickbait roundup)

I was going to write a big, thoughtful post about this, and even created this image to illustrate it:

And started building the "clickbait roundup":

Geek Tyrant
ComicBook dot Com

I even found this video...

 ...But other things got in my way, and the news has moved on. To sum up:

One black actress has pulled out of Marvel's "Captain Marvel" movie, and another taken her place. There has been a lot of race-changing between comics and movies, but with a black female Captain Marvel having been in the comics, and considering the ways that superhero movies these days pay a lot of fan service, having a black woman in a Captain Marvel movie by Marvel is a pretty dead giveaway that Monica Rambeau is going to be in this movie.

The rest of this post would have been about how I first saw Minica Rambeau on the cover o that isue of The Amazing Spider-Man in a magazinse shop on 1st ave & 57th St, but rejected it becaus she was not my Captain Marvel, but how when I came to read all her adventures with the Avengers in research for this project, came to realize that she was an awesome character. She was brave, realistic, and actually studied up on all the Avengers' villains so she could battle them efectively. In many ways she was a better "feminist role model" than Carol Danvers' Ms.Marvel when she first appeared.

It's a shame that Marvel had to bring back Captain America to the Avengers at her expense, and that she never had a regular series of her own.

I will just close with this video which, for the record, tells the story of the Death of Mar-Vel and the coming of Monica Rambeau, including some things that made her unique...

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

The Shazam Family grows (for the SHAZAM! movie)

Just a few words as my time is short today:

The past few days have seen a whole lot of casting announcements for the upcoming "SHAZAM!" movie. These include Billy Batson as a toddler, Billy Batson's mom, and the heroic alter egos of Billy's foster siblings.

All this confirms what every other clue that has come out has led me (and lots of other people) to conclude: This is a movie about Shazam, the superhero in DC's New 52 and recent animated productions and video games, not the original Captain Marvel.

They are leaving Black Adam out of this movie, though, so while a lot of the story elements of the SHAZAM! back-up story in "Justice League" collected  in the trade paperback "SHAZAM!" are in the movie it obviously won't be a blow-by-blow copy. Still, with such characters as Dr. Sivana, Mr. Bryer, the foster family, and the "Seven Deadly Sins" either cast or rumored to be in the movie, there is not a whole lot of room for much else.

So let's stop the bemoaning of the "name change"and acknowledge that this is not a "Captain Marvel" movie, it is a "Shazam" movie.

But I am perfectly on board with wishing there was a movie about the original Captain Marvel.

What do you think? What will be the strongest elements of the new interpretation of the hero? Will this character concept be able to support a movie franchise? What differences between New 52 Shazam and the original Captain Marvel do you like the most and the least?


Tuesday, April 3, 2018

The SHAZAM! movie costume, and what it reveals about Shazam and Captain Marvel

Here is a little video I shot that explains my point of view on the whole Shazam/Captain Marvel name thing, what the SHAZAM! movie costume reveals about it, and why I make a point of Saying "Captain Marvel" sometimes and "Shazam" other times...

What do you think about the SHAZAM! movie being about the New 52 character, as opposed to the classic Captain Marvel? Put your thoughts in the comments!

Monday, March 12, 2018

Has Captain Marvel's name changed to "Shazam"?

This was a reply to a comment on Facebook, but since it was so long and thorough for a "Someone is Wrong on the Internet" comment, I figured I would post it here so folks could refer to it with ease. 

Whether or not the name has been "changed" depends on how you look at the character.

In the mid '00's, DC had a series of company-wide epic events, part of which involved Captain Marvel having to take over the job of the old wizard Shazam (who had given Billy Batson the power to speak his name and transform into the hero), and his name changing to "Lord Marvel." Freddy Freeman (Captain Marvel, Jr.) took over the job of Captain Marvel, but after going through the "Trials of Shazam!" 12-issue series (that lasted from 2006-2008,) he became the new hero and was called "Shazam" for a while (Wikipedia says he went back to the name Captain Marvel for a bit).

Then, in 2012, the New 52 came around, and every superhero was "rebooted" or "recreated" and started over. Some of these new versions were drastically different, some were not. The character who was published under the title "Shazam!" in back-up stories n "Justice League," and who later joined the Justice League, was named "Shazam." He had a different costume, different origin, and drastically different powers from the previous characters marketed under that title, all but the Freddy Freeman version having been named "Captain Marvel," and being continuations of, or based on, the original Captain Marvel from Fawcett.

A few years later, DC revealed that the universe in which these "New 52" heroes live is actually part of a "multiverse," and in this multiverse is a world labeled "Earth-5. On this world is a superhero named "Captain Marvel. This world has been said to be "Earth-S," which was the world on which DC placed the original Captain Marvel when they started publishing him in 1972.

To backtrack just a bit...

In 1972, DC began publishing the continuing adventures of the original Captain Marvel, placing him on Earth-S, just as Jay Garrick/Flash was on Earth-2 and Barry Allen/Flash was on Earth1, and while both Earth-1 and Earth-2 had a Clark Kent/Superman, Earth Three had Kal-ll/Ultraman

In 1985-6 DC published the "Crisis on Infinite Earths" saga, which rolled all the alternate Earths into one, rebooting all their characters, re-setting the Big Three of Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman into the current era, and re-booting Captain Marvel under the title "SHAZAM!" The New Beginning." He had the same powers, a slightly different origin, and the same costume. And while the original Billy Batson and Captain Marvel were separate personalities, now Captain Marvel was simply Billy Batson in the hero's body.

In 1994 DC released Jerry Ordway's re-boot of the character under the title "The Power of SHAZAM!" Again he had a slightly different origin but the same powers, his costume was slightly different, and he maintained the "boy as hero" concept. This was retconned as the part of the new world that emerged from the "Zero Hour" crossover event that happened that same year in DC Comics.
 In 2007, DC released Jeff Smith's "SHAZAM! The Monster Society of Evil" which again re-booted the hero, giving him a slightly different origin and the same costume as the "Power of SHAZAM!" version. In this version the boy and the hero were different personalities, but were starting to merge towards the end
A slightly different version of this character was the hero of the "Billy Batson and the Magic of SHAZAM!" series published for the kid-oriented "Johnny DC" imprint. In this version, the hero had the boy's mind.

Now, if all of these characters, existing on different worlds or after different universe-altering events, count as "different characters," then the New 52 hero, named "Shazam," is not the same character as the original Captain Marvel.

If, however, you want to say that a character with a different origin, different concept, different costume, different powers, a different name, and living on a different world, but marketed under the same trademark as a previous character is the same character as that previous version, then yes, Captain Marvel's name has been changed to Shazam, along with almost everything else about him.