John August, the announced ScreenWriter for the in-development Captain Marvel (DC) Movie, says today that the film is no longer a go. He was surprisingly detailed on the whole process in his blog, from the film’s inception at New Line where he wrote a light hearted script mixing comedy and action, to the Writers’ Strike and its move to Warner Bros:
The new executive at Warners said he agreed with the New Line notes, and told the producers I should go ahead with my rewrite. We weren’t on the official production schedule, but there were discussions about budgets and timelines. We were definitely Pete Segal’s next movie, and many of the stories coming out of the press junkets for Get Smart were about Shazam.
When we turned the new draft in to the studio, we got a reaction that made me wonder if anyone at Warners had actually read previous drafts or the associated notes. The studio felt the movie played too young. They wanted edgier. They wanted Billy to be older. They wanted Black Adam to appear much earlier.
(I pointed out that Black Adam appears on page one, but never got a response.)
He goes on to speculate as to why the Studio had such a big change of heart, and how he delivered what they asked with the third draft, including more one-on-one Captain Marvel vs. Black Adam, and even a reveal of Nanda Parbat as a location in the film. He took a trip overseas, got back, and the project was killed.
The movie may see life again, but August is confident that the current incarnation, with any version of his script, is deader than Mary Marvel’s innocence. But hey, at a time when DC desperately needs to breathe life into more movie franchises than just those that have a flying rodent-themed character, it probably isn’t in their best interest for the first one to bear the name of their chief competitor…