Warner Bros. seems to be high on developing its SHAZAM movies. They recently hired Zachary Levi to star as the colorful superhero in David F. Sandberg’s superhero film, and now they’ve hired a writer for the BLACK ADAM movie starring Dwayne Johnson. Black Adam was originally supposed to be the antagonist in the SHAZAM film, but when you’ve got Dwayne Johnson in the role, you give him his own movie and figure the rest out later.
According to The Tracking Board, Warners has tapped Adam Sztykiel to write the BLACK ADAM screenplay. Sztykiel’s background is in comedy having writing credits for DUE DATE, ALVIN AND THE CHIPMONKS: ROAD CHIP, and DIARY OF A WIMPY KID: THE LONG HAUL. He also created the NBC series ‘Undateable’ and he’s been hired to write WE’RE THE MILLERS 2.
So presumably, all signs point to BLACK ADAM going in more comic direction despite the superhero genre rarely moving into comedy (although this Friday’s THOR: RAGNAROK is pretty much a comedy that happens to be a superhero film) and the title character being a bad guy. We know that Johnson has no problem getting laughs, and frankly, I don’t need a dark and serious BLACK ADAM movie. If Warner Bros. is moving into lighter fare, and their pushing projects like BLACK ADAM into a comic direction, so be it. Obviously that won’t be the case for all their superhero projects (I’m not expecting loads of laughs in Matt Reeves’ THE BATMAN or Gareth Evans’ DEATHSTROKE), so it’s okay to have some diversity, especially when the Shazam character is all about a little kid who gets to be a superhero when he shouts “Shazam!”
It will be interesting to see if Warner Bros. also tries to get a director with a comedic background for the film.