Writer talks Shazam and One Finger Salute
The writer of Shazam, Bill Birch, has been talking about the state of the script he's writing with Geoff Johns and where the project is, and far from being sidelined, it sounds like it's moving forward and have a clear purpose, and that purpose is going to lead it into PG-13 areas, as far as the script goes anyway.
More than that he's talking about another project called One Finger Salute which sounds like it could be another The Right Stuff, but more about the crazy test pilots in the 1950's who did anything they could to push the envelope of flying.
" One Finger Salute was my first writing assignment. It's based on a real group of guys in the Air Force in the 1950's who were researching outer space and the possibility of putting a man up there way before Sputnik, NASA and the term "Space Race" even existed. These guys were freakin' studs. One of them strapped himself in a rocket sled and blasted down a track going 630 miles per hour then came to a compete stop in 1.5 seconds and lived to tell about it. Another guy jumped out of a balloon 20 miles above the earth to test a parachute. He free fell for 4.5 minutes coming close to breaking the speed of sound on the way down."
However the project sounded as though it was dead, until recently:
"The project was wallowing in "development hell" at Warner Brothers for over ten years until my version brought some life back to it. Interestingly, Pete Segal became attached to that project after reading one of my drafts. We developed another draft together and during that time a great collaborative relationship was born."
I have to say I'm more interesting in this project than I am Shazam. However for those of you, and there are many, who would prefer to hear about Shazam, here's what he said on the topic to CineFools through JoBlo:
"Geoff and I are in the thick of it, creating a kickass update that still honors the lore that's been created in over 50 years of Marvel storylines."
Interestingly he's asked about the previous versions of the scripts, and he boldly states that they are starting afresh, not looking at these other scripts, and that this one is going to have a darker tone.
"The way the story is shaking out, Geoff and I see this not as 'dark' as Dark Knight but definitely as cool. It'll probably end up with a PG-13 rating."
So that's in tone of the script anyway, that doesn't mean that the studio will happily prance that onwards through the directing and editing process onto a PG-13. However he does point out that the real key to getting the project out of the "development hell" that it's in, or is close to being in, is the tone of this version of the script.
I wonder if the studio would be happier with a completely accessible version of Shazam, after all the original character and the story were to appeal to a younger audience. Rather than another dark superhero story with comedy and young kids, an area that Kick-Ass might just corner the market on, maybe they'll go for a younger superhero tale all round?