"Captain Marvel" Screenwriter Shakes Up the Fanboys -- Shazam!

by | April 9, 2007 | Comments

Gotta give it up for screenwriter John August. Not only is he entirely forthcoming about his upcoming "Shazam!" (aka "Captain Marvel") adaptation, but he’s sharing all sorts of information about the project on his blog. He also had a few, well, potentially controversial things to say about the comic book heroes of yesteryear…

Mr. August (who’s penned some really fine movies so be respectful when commenting at his blog) is pretty generous with the "Captain Marvel" / "Shazam!" histories and back-stories, which shows that he’s done a lot of homework on the project, but near the end of his article the man goes and shakes up things just a little, and I suspect he meant to do it. Some of his comments include:


"DC publishes hardcover anthologies that gather up decades’ worth of Captain Marvel comics. If I were writing a dissertation on the evolution of the Captain Marvel character, these would be invaluable. But I’m not. So every time I read one of these, I’m struck with the same realization I encounter trying to watch The Honeymooners or a black-and-white movie: Wow. Old things suck.

Yes, I know that will piss off the vintage comics fans, who insist that the original incarnations are the purest forms of a character. But what you quickly realize is that old-time comic books were awkwardly written, crudely drawn, and bewilderingly inconsistent with their rules. They were making up the art form as they went along, and today’s comic books are better for the accumulated wisdom."

Zowie! You go, John! Frankly I applaud the guy’s honesty even as I sympathize with the amount of hate mail he’s bound to receive. Yeah, yeah, he should be more reverent of the classic comic characters and (yawn) all that jazz. Anyway, all I need to know is that the guy who wrote "Go," "Charlie’s Angels," "Big Fish," "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory," and "Corpse Bride" is writing a superhero movie. That alone is enough to get me into the theater. (Yes, I know he also wrote "Charlie’s Angels 2," and yes I intentionally neglected to mention it. You got me.)

Source: The Blog of John August