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Warner Brothers and DC Comics bring Shazam along for the ride to cinemas

Shazam hitting the big screen
Shazam hitting the big screen
DC comics

With the excitment of an official Justice League movie to be directed by Zack Snyder as reported by the Wall Street Journal, it was easy to overlook mentions of Shazam and Vertigo property Fables receiving the same treatment as the Justice League. Hidden behind the Justice League, a section of the the Wall Street Journal article reads:

Warner Bros. has several other movies in development unconnected to the Justice League that are based on DC superheroes and fantasy and crime titles from its Vertigo line of genre comics, said Mr. Silverman and Toby Emmerich, president of Warner’s New Line Cinema label. They include “Shazam,” “Metal Men,” “100 Bullets,” and “Fables.”

Shazam has long been a superhero in the DC universe after the parent company's acquisition of the Marvel family in 1991 from the defunct Fawcett Comics. After leasing the character for years, Captain Marvel joined the Justice Society of America and starred alongside many classic Golden-Age heroes until the New 52. Captain Marvel is a young boy named Billy Batson who is empowered by the mighty wizard Shazam. Upon reciting the name of the wizard, Billy is struck by a thunderbolt transforming him into the super powered Captain Marvel.

With the popularity of Marvel comic's Captain Marvel in recent years, DC began rebranding their own Captain Marvel as Shazam in the New 52. The world's mightiest mortal has been rumored to be portrayed by Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson. It is interesting to note that Warner Bros. has declared Shazam to be unconnected to the Justice League. In recent years, Shazam has moved from the Justice Society to starring alongside the Justice League in the comics. Is Shazam simply starring in his own movie before joining the League or does his cinematic portrayal belong to a different universe?