Friday, July 21, 2017

SHAZAM! Shooting Dates! Yes, REAL NEWS!

In that hazy realm in which Clickbait resides, somewhere between news, rumor, speculations, wishful thinking, and misinterpretation based on wishful thinking after a rumor gets started based on a scrap of news, lay the fate of DC's "Shazam!" movie. All that was certain, for the longest time, was that Dwayne (The Rock) Johnson would play Black Adam in this movie. This was announced way back in 2014. But after several scripts and directors had be lined up in the stillborn attempt at producing this movie in the previous decade, there seemed to be no further developments for this one now.

My previous posts have reported on things that may or may not have been baseless rumors or legitimate news, but today I am just too busy to go on my traditional "clickbait roundup" to find all the angles on all the elements of the story that have broken in the last few days.

We will start with the report from Cinema Blend three days ago that the "Shazam!" movie has a production start date. This date would be in February of 2017, putting it in line with the start date for Marvel's "Captain Marvel" movie.

In case you just started reading comics and following them on the Interwebs four days ago, the reason we are tracking these two movies here on "Captain Marvel Culture" is because "Shazam!" (complete with exclamation point) is the trademark by which DC markets their character known as Captain Marvel. This character was originally produced by Fawcett Publications in comic books dated from 1940-1953. The reasons for his demise are too complex to get into here, but twenty years later DC licensed the character from Fawcett. Marvel, in the meantime, had created their own Captain Marvel (again: long story) and trademarked the name, so DC had to come up with something different. Since the source of Captain Marvel's power's were the magic word "Shazam!" it was decided to make that the title of the comic book, and it has been the trademark by which DC has marketed the character. He was still called "Captain Marvel" inside the books and on the TV shows and in the View-Master Slides, but never on a cover or box. This led to confusion. finally DC, who had fully acquired the rights to the character in 1991, re-interpreted him for their "New 52" reboot of their entire universe, and that character is named "Shazam," ending the confusion...not really. It just led to more confusion.

But confusion aside, Marvel had scheduled their "Captain Marvel" movie for a release date slightly before DC's "Shazam!" Could that have been so that their "captain Marvel hero would hit the big screen before DC's Captain Marvel? Conspiracy theorists have had fun with this. In fact, there are theories, rumors, speculation, and other claptrap about Marvel finally "winning the rights" to the name for DC or something, or there being some sort of deal whereby DC agreed never to use the name "Captain Marvel" again...

...but I am not buying most of it. Marvel can be perfectly justified in protecting their copyright by making sure there is always a Captain Marvel in the MCU, and DC can decide to finally create a superhero with the same name as the title of his comic book without there having been some sort of apocalyptic "deal" or anyone doing anything underhandedly competitive. It's all just business-oriented decisions, for better or worse.

for the Record, right now, as it stands, Marvel's "Captain Marvel" is scheduled to start shooting in February of 2018, and be released on March 8, 2019, and DC's "Shazam!" is said to be starting production in February 2018 for an April 5, 2019 release.

Next: SHAZAM! A Director is Chosen!

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