SHAZAM! Writer Speaks -


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SHAZAM! Writer Speaks


By Rob M. Worley     November 12, 2009
Source: Various

Comics2Film: Shazam
© Mania

'Shazam!' writer Bill Burch talks about his take on the Captain Marvel movie. Plus: The lost 'X-Men 3' movie. 'Super Hero Squad' goes primetime. 'Astro Boy' an Oscar contender? More! Comics! Will! Film! It's your Comics2Film 9.11.12!



ASTRO BOY an Oscar Contender?

While it debuted to middling reviews and poor box office, the CGI animated 'Astro Boy' movie is one of 20 films contending for Oscar nominations, according to Variety.

The film appears with 19 others on the list submitted for consideration to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences. This is the beginning of the process that will eventually lead to the Academy coming up with five nominees.

Typically there are three contenders in the "Best Animated Feature" category. The number is five this year because the list of contenders topped the threshold of 16. However, Variety points out that some of them have yet to debut and, if they're delayed for whatever reason, they may be disqualified from the list.

The Imagi adaptation of the classic manga and anime character has som stiff competition with 'Up', 'Coraline', 'Ponyo', 'Monsters vs Aliens' and 'A Christmas Carol' on the list, with other intriguing entries like 'Fantastic Mr. Fox' and 'The Princess and the Frog' yet to debut for audiences.

The 82nd Academy Awards nominations will be announced Feb. 2 and statues will be presented March 7.



Idris Elba likes 100 BULLETS

While chatting with SlashFilm on the set of 'The Losers', actor Idris Elba said there's another comic book he's interested in getting involved in, should the film version take off.

"There’s a thing that Vertigo do called '100 Bullets'. I like that. I think it could be an interesting little thing," Elba said, adding, "I’ve just started reading it and it could be quite interesting."




The 'Solomon Kane' movie is ramping up it's publicity blitz by expanding its presence on the web. Here's a list of interesting places where you'll find the demon-fighting Puritan gunslinger:

Official site at

Official French site at

Facebook fan page

MySpace page

Thanks to AntoBlueberry for the submission.



G.I. JOE Score Home Entertainment Victory

The Hollywood Reporter has declared 'G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra' the victor on the home video front. The film topped the sales charts moving 3.8 million copies of the toy and comic-based adventure. About a half-million of those were in the Blu-Ray format.



PLANET HULK Images Online has presented its readers with two new images from the upcoming 'Planet Hulk' animated feature. The toon film debuts on DVD and Blu-Ray next February.

Thanks to Matador for the submission.



SMALLVILLE's "Society" to air as Movie?

Over at, scoop-master flash Michael Ausiello reports that 'Smallville''s big two-parter "Society" may air as a two-hour movie event instead.

The CW thinks they could make a greater impact with the show if they roll it out in that format. "Society" is written by Geoff Johns. It features the debut of the Justice Society of America, specifically Dr. Fate, Hawkman and Stargirl, not to mention DCU's Amanda Waller.

Thanks to Matador for the submission.



The Lost X-MEN 3 Movie

Screenwriter Michael Dougherty talked to SlashFilm in a podcast about his work on 'X-Men 3', before he and mentor Bryan Singer bailed on the project in favor of 'Superman Returns'. The film they had planned was a much more ambitious attempt at the Dark Phoenix story than what eventually ended up on screen.

The Geek Files blog sifted through the podcast and offered copious transcription of Dougherty's comments, and the movie he describes is very interesting indeed.

Fans recall that 'X2: X-Men United' which Dougherty and partner Dan Harris worked on, left us with Jean Grey submerged in Alkali Lake with a shadowy Phoenix figure barely appearing on the surface in the closing moments.

"The idea was that you open up with Alkali Lake but it's completely barren and dried up and there are these odd reports of strange phenomena going on around the world accompanied by bright lights in the sky," Dougherty said. The strange occurrences would continue and get progressively larger. Both the X-Men and the Magneto's Brotherhood would be competing to find the source of "a very god-like force" that was now roaming the planet.

Sounds like they had some very cool stuff planned, right? How about a sequence where the Phoenix destroys San Francisco in an attack that would put Roland Emmerich to shame? Can you imagine it? 

If not, storyboard artist Adrien Van Viersen has posted his unused storyboards online, including depictions of some of the lost scenes Dougherty talks about.

"Ultimately the way it was going to end, at least the version I was pushing for, would be that Phoenix was kind of like the Starchild at the end of 2001, she didn't just get stabbed and die again, but she kind of chose to leave," Dougherty said.

Check out the podcast or the written summary for more of what might have been.

Thanks to AntoBlueberry for the submission.



Poster art from KICK-ASS featuring actor Aaron Johnson

New KICK-ASS Poster

In addition to unveiling the 'Kick-Ass' trailer yesterday, hosted a new poster for the film.

Here's a new image of Aaron Johnson looking a bit battered in his superhero suit.

Thanks to AntoBlueberry for the submission.



SUPER HERO  SQUAD goes prime time

His Marvel's funny new kids toon 'The Super Hero Squad Show' hitting the airwaves too early on a Saturday morning for you? The good news is that the toon is now airing in prime time as well.

Starting this past Saturday, November 7th, 'The Super Hero Squad Show' made its debut on Saturday nights at 7:30PM as part of Cartoon Network’s prime time line-up. Of course, if you prefer your "Squaddies" visit in the morning, the show is also airing weekdays Monday through Friday at 8:30AM.

The show is Cartoon Network's #1 programming for 6-8 year-old boys.



SHAZAM's Bill Burch Speaks

The 'Shazam!' movie, focusing on DC Comics' Captain Marvel, has been kicking around for a good long time. Last August writer Bill Burch boarded the project, partnering with none other than Geoff Johns on a new take on the film.

In an exclusive interview, Burch told Cinefools that director Peter Segal is still attached but they have started fresh on the story, discarding previous scripts written for it. They plan to aim for a PG-13 rating on the film.

"The way the story is shaking out, Geoff and I see this not as 'dark' as 'Dark Knight' but definitely as cool," Burch said. "Tonally I think it's important to successfully find the balance of comedy and danger in the story. That’s a major aspect I’m focusing on. Frankly hitting the right tone is what’s going to either get this made or keep it in development hell."

He also addressed the persistent rumor that Dwayne Johnson will play either the hero or the villain in the film. Burch said that Johnson and Segal definitely have a relationship, but he wouldn't count the actor in or out until filming actually begins. But he has definite ideas of who he'd want to see in the film.

"More than likely the role of Billy Batson will be an unknown but the role of Captain Marvel? I always thought Ryan Reynolds would have been interesting but now that he’s Green Lantern that’s not an option," Burch said. "Honestly I don’t think too much about it since I have very little say in the casting decisions."

What do you think, Maniacs? Will Burch and Johns be the ones to crack SHAZAM? Post your comments below...


Showing items 1 - 10 of 10
Wiseguy 11/12/2009 8:56:31 AM

This guy thought Ryan Reynolds was Captain Marvel, fool. Reynolds doesn't fit that bill, glad that ain't happening. Patrick Warburton is the ideal Captain Marvel if they don't mind his age, a little make-up can make him look a bit younger and voila CAPTAIN MARVEL. The Rock can play Black Adam

The lost X3 movie, why even bother, no sense in crying over spilled milk. However it does sound better than what we got plus I don't see Cyclops being offed, my biggest complain in the entry.

Really looking forward to that Smallville JSA episode, I mean movie. Crossing my fingers they do Hawkman right. Maybe, hopefully,  he'll be the one to get a spinoff

Looking forward to Planet Hulk, looks good so far

Solomon Kane's release date?

I actually like Superhero Squad. Yeah, definitely a kiddie show but when I'm at home sat. mornings at 8:30 or 11:30 I tune in. Flashbacks of when I was a kid and sat. mornings were the event of the week with all the good toons




silversurfer 11/12/2009 11:29:12 AM

What he said......

redhairs99 11/12/2009 12:42:06 PM

In addition to Hawkman, Stargirl and Dr. Fate, the movie event will also feature the return of Martian Manhunter, John Jonez!!  It's building up to be an awesome episode. Geoff Johns keeps releasing little tidbits like making it cover two episodes instead of just one as well as commenting on the costumes.  He says Dr. Fate is dead on, very accurate.  I've also heard Michael Shanks talk about the whole process of getting him in the suit.  He hadn't put on the entire suit yet, but he said the giant metal wings were a bit tough.  Should be a cool.  Can't wait until January.

Matador 11/12/2009 12:44:26 PM

Here's hoping Smallville will be a an hour of some crazy superhero action and a wee bit o' drama.

SONYMANswallows 11/12/2009 1:12:54 PM

Are any DC or Marvel up for the academy awards? They are better than anything mentioned. Chistmas Carol is garbage and Astroboy is not worthy. Green Lantern, Wonder Woman or either HULK vs. deserve nominations. They need to get those out in a limited release if the Michael jackson jerks can et to see bad video of their plastic freak.


Singer did not bail on X3 he was fired for doing Superman Returns by Fox. This story was reported here in 2005.

TKay42one 11/12/2009 3:09:12 PM

Gotta say, I still like X-Men 3, but that story does sound MUCH cooler.

jfdavis 11/12/2009 3:25:48 PM

I don't care what the format will be. Society will definitely be the best Smallvile episode in years.  I've been quite impressed with the show this season.

The lost X3 script really doesn't sound much better (She just kind of leaves?) but at least doesn't drop the Phoenix ball...

ManiaHasIssues 11/12/2009 6:40:52 PM

sonyman: the marvel and dc animted films were direct to dvd. they didnt get theatrical distrubtions and arent eligible for academy awards.

and how the hell does monsters vs aliens constitute stiff competition? that movie blew. blew hard. blew harder then most reviews on this site.

Ozymandas 11/12/2009 8:24:29 PM

Lost X-Men 3: very cool to hear what almost was. It does, however, sound very similar to FF 2. I'm not sure who would have beat who to the punch, and am too tired/lazy to look it up...

Captain Marvel: I always thought Patrick Warburton (sp?) would have made a great Captain Marvel (voice & appearance) to the Rock's Black Adam. However, you'd need some serious direction behind it and, umm, maybe some dramatic acting lessons to keep things from getting too hokey.

littlemikey979 11/12/2009 8:24:41 PM

could'a been X3 sounds alot like FF2, or is it just me?

i think a Smallville two hour tv movie thing (but wouldn't it really just be two shows) would be cool. maybe if its labeled a "tv movie" it can get a bigger budget and get some cool FX stuff

i'd like to see Dwayne "no longer The Rock" Johnson play Black Adam, he's been doing good in the Disney/Nick type kids stuff (he was pretty funny in The Game Plan) and its been cool to see him play a bad guy.



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