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Production is underway on New Line Cinema’s “Shazam!”  David F. Sandberg (“Annabelle: Creation”) directs the origin story, which stars Zachary Levi (TV’s “Chuck”) as the titular DC Super Hero, along with Asher Angel (TV’s “Andi Mack”) as Billy Batson, and Mark Strong (the “Kingsman” movies) in the role of Super-Villain Dr. Thaddeus Sivana.  Peter Safran (upcoming “Aquaman,” “The Conjuring” and “Annabelle” films) serves as the film’s producer.

shazam superhero

We all have a superhero inside us, it just takes a bit of magic to bring it out.  In Billy Batson’s (Angel) case, by shouting out one word—SHAZAM!—this streetwise 14-year-old foster kid can turn into the adult Super Hero Shazam (Levi), courtesy of an ancient wizard.  Still a kid at heart—inside a ripped, godlike body—Shazam revels in this adult version of himself by doing what any teen would do with superpowers: have fun with them!  Can he fly?  Does he have X-ray vision?  Can he shoot lightning out of his hands?  Can he skip his social studies test?  Shazam sets out to test the limits of his abilities with the joyful recklessness of a child.  But he’ll need to master these powers quickly in order to fight the deadly forces of evil controlled by Dr. Thaddeus Sivana (Strong).

Zachary Levi as Shazam

“Shazam!” also stars Jack Dylan Grazer (“IT”) as Billy’s best friend and ultimate superhero enthusiast, Freddy, part of the foster family that includes Mary, played by Grace Fulton (“Annabelle: Creation”); Darla, played by Faithe Herman (TV’s “This is Us”); Eugene, played by Ian Chen (TV’s “Fresh Off the Boat”); and Pedro, played by Jovan Armand (TV’s “Hawaii Five-O”).  Cooper Andrews (TV’s “The Walking Dead”) and Marta Milans (TV’s “Killer Women”) play foster parents Victor and Rosa Vasquez, with Ron Cephas Jones (“This is Us”) as the Wizard.

Christopher Godsick, Jeffrey Chernov, Dwayne Johnson, Dany Garcia and Hiram Garcia are serving as executive producers.

Sandberg’s creative team includes his “Annabelle: Creation” director of photography Maxime Alexandre, production designer Jennifer Spence, editor Michel Aller and costume designer Leah Butler.

Set primarily in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, principal photography for the film is taking place in Toronto.

Firmly set in the DC universe but with his own distinctly fun, family-centric tone, the character first appeared in Whiz Comics in 1940 and was created by Bill Parker and C.C. Beck.

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Warner Bros. Drops Ava DuVernay’s “New Gods” Film from Roster

In a surprising turn of events, Warner Bros. has opted to cancel Ava DuVernay’s “New Gods” film and the Aquaman spinoff movie, “The Trench.”

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ava duvernay new gods movie the trench canceled

In a surprising turn of events, Warner Bros. has opted to cancel Ava DuVernay’s “New Gods” film and the Aquaman spinoff movie, “The Trench.”

new gods

The New Gods

“New Gods” is based off a race of fictional characters of the same name created by Jack Kirby. These “New Gods” are beings from an alternate universe, The Fourth World, dominated by two planets, New Genesis and Apokolips, who are constantly at war. The latter world has a number of heroes and villains who have been both allies and enemies to DC Comics’ superheroes. The New God, Steppenwolf, was the primary antagonist of Joss Whedon and Zack Snyder’s versions of “The Justice League” movie.

As aforementioned, “The Trench” is a spinoff of Warner Bros.’ highly successful “Aquaman” film, set in an area of the Earth’s oceans haunted by Atlanteans who became monsters, warped from their time trapped there for generations. In the Aquaman film it was the place the titular character’s mother, Atlanna, was imprisoned for having him.

ava duvernay aquaman the trench movie canceled

Monsters from “The Trench” in Aquaman

This news comes on the heels of the company going through a complete overhaul of its DC Comics based superhero properties in film, streaming on HBO Max, and its television series on The CW, dubbed the “Arrowverse” (an interconnected series of shows including Arrow, The Flash, Black Lightning, Supergirl, Superman & Lois, Batwoman, DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, and Stargirl).

Warner Bros. and DC Comics released a statement concerning the cancellations, “As part of our DC slate, some legacy  development titles including New Gods and The Trench will not be moving forward. We thank our partners Ava DuVernay, Tom King, James Wan and Peter Safran for their time and collaboration during this process and look forward to our continued partnership with them on other DC stories. The projects will remain in their skillful hands if they were to move forward in the future.”

Ava DuVernay would have been the first African-American woman to lead a superhero film for Warner Bros. and DC Comics. Ava has not released an official statement concerning her film’s cancellation but did tweet the following:

Although Ava will not be doing “New Gods” for the foreseeable future. However, she will still be at the helm of The CW’s latest superhero series, “Naomi,” set to debut this fall.

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Fans Push Marvel to Cast Taylor Swift as X-Men’s Dazzler!

The fate of the X-Men and “mutantkind” is currently unknown in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). However, that is not stopping fans from pushing for singer Taylor Swift to be cast as the mutant superhero Dazzler!

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taylor swift as dazzler

The fate of the X-Men and “mutantkind” is currently unknown in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). However, that is not stopping fans from pushing for singer Taylor Swift to be cast as the mutant superhero Dazzler!

dazzler x-men marvel comics

Dazzler

Alison Blaire, AKA “Dazzler” was a mainstay of the X-Men during the eighties. She is a mutant born with the ability of photokinesis (light manipulation) by transmuting sound into light; allowing her to create anything from disorienting strobe light effects, energy blasts, laser beams, and even project holograms.

Like Taylor, Dazzler was also a pop star. Before she joined the X-Men she was a singer, and the character’s real world origin is unique in being she is the only comic book character who was created jointly by a comic book company and record label, Marvel Comics and Casablanca Records, respectively. Swift also looks like Dazzler; check out the fan art of her as Dazzler below!

Normally we do not agree with fan castings but we wholeheartedly support Taylor Swift being Dazzler if she and Marvel are both up to it! This, however, would not mark Dazzler’s first live action appearance. As you recall in X-Men: Dark Phoenix (2019) she made a brief appearance, portrayed by actress Halston Sage.

halston stage as dazzler x-men dark phoenix 2019 cameo

Halston Sage as “Dazzler” in “X-Men: Dark Phoenix (2019)”

There she appeared in a scene in the woods when the young X-Men were celebrating saving a team of astronauts. Dazzler performed, providing her own lighting. We definitely think had the franchise continued her character would have taken center stage in a following moving.

Fans everywhere are just waiting for the X-Men to join the MCU officially, and Marvel Studios’ president, Kevin Feige has vocalized the character appearing alongside The Avengers or even The Guardians of The Galaxy.

What do you all think of this casting push? Are you here for Taylor as Dazzler or not? Sound off in the comments’ section below!

 

 

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No Recasting! WB Opts to Write “Cyborg” Out of Upcoming “Flash” Movie!

Yesterday we reported that Warner Bros. was looking to recast the role of the superhero, Cyborg, originally played by Ray Fisher after a very strenuous and controversial separation.

It is now being reported that Warner Bros. has now opted to write Cyborg out completely, removing him from the upcoming “Flash” movie starring Ezra Miller.

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cyborg

Yesterday we reported that Warner Bros. was looking to recast the role of the superhero, Cyborg, originally played by Ray Fisher after a very strenuous and controversial separation.

It is now being reported that Warner Bros. has now opted to write Cyborg out completely, removing him from the upcoming “Flash” movie starring Ezra Miller.

via TheWrap.com

cyborg dc comics

“Justice League” actor Ray Fisher, who was offered a cameo role last June to appear as Cyborg in “The Flash” solo movie, publicly stated he did not want to be involved with the project via Twitter, hence the character of Cyborg has been written out of the screenplay and will not be recast, according to insiders with knowledge of the situation.

Fisher publicly resigned from the role last week in his continuing beef with DC Films President Walter Hamada, who is overseeing “The Flash.” The actor tweeted on Dec. 30, “Walter Hamada is the most dangerous kind of enabler. He lies, and WB PR’s failed Sept. 4th hit-piece sought to undermine the very real issues of the Justice League investigation.”

Fisher added in his tweet, “I will not participate in any production associated with him.” Of note, Hamada did not oversee the “Justice League” production and was not the head of DC Films at the time, nor was he employed during the film’s initial release.

Hamada first joined DC Films back in 2018 and lead the division to the release of its highest-grossing film to date, 2018’s “Aquaman,” which banked over $1.4 billion at the worldwide box office. On Tuesday, it was announced that Hamada had reupped his deal as president until 2023. Fisher called the news “reactionary” in a tweet later that day.

We hate to see Ray Fisher leave the DCEU; but as fanboys we hate to see Cyborg will not be appearing in The Flash film. As we posted in a previous article there are a number of young Black actors who should have been recast for this role, even if it was just a cameo.

What do you think of these developments? Sound off in the comments’ section below!

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