Dwayne Johnson's producing partner Dany Garcia says DC film will exist in 'Justice League' world

By Nick Romano
August 13, 2016 at 04:29 PM EDT
DC Comics

While the DC Extended Universe preps Justice League amid negative reviews for Batman v Superman and Suicide Squad, one title lost in the conversation has been Shazam! According to executive producer Dany Garcia, she’s not worried about the reception and confirms the Dwayne Johnson-led film will exist within the same shared cinematic space. 

“We don’t feel fettered by, or constrained by, the successes or failures and challenges of the other projects,” she told Newsweek. “That was a key component to our participation — that we be able to control the tone and the voice, and do it the way we want to.”

In the comics, Shazam! is the superhero alter ego of foster kid Billy Batson, who transforms into an adult strongman with the strength of Hercules, the speed of Mercury, and the lighting powers of Zeus. Johnson will play villain Black Adam in the film, which New Line president Toby Emmerich told EW will “have a tone unto itself.”  

Garcia reiterated its uniqueness in her interview. “Shazam! is to live in the same world [as the other films] but we have incredible autonomy over this brand and franchise,” she said. “We are working with a different team, different producers, directors…it’s a different set-up.”

She added, “You’ve got Justice League, Wonder Woman with a different director, so you’re going to see different points of view. I think by the time we land with [Shazam!] we’ll fit nicely within the world that’s been created, but not such a shorthand relationship. [It’ll be] enough that people say, ‘Oh, this is within the family,’ but the culture will be a little different.”

Shazam! is currently scheduled for release on April 5, 2019, and Garcia says the creative team doesn’t mind “taking our time” in order to get the tone right.

“We’ve got so many wonderful superhero franchises out there,” she said. “We don’t need to run away from them and say ‘we can’t be that,’ but it’s important to understand, what are the best aspects of a Batman [movie] versus Avengers versus Deadpool? What are the elements people are responding to? We want to move the needle.”