David F. Sandberg is making sure he strikes while the iron is still hot. Coming fresh off the 2017 horror romp Annabelle: Creation, a film that works as a spinoff and a prequel from The Conjuring universe, the Swede has already been confirmed to bring his version of Shazam! from the comic books to the big screen.
Fortunately for Sandberg, all of the upheaval at Warner Brothers can be bypassed with sister studio New Line producing the blockbuster, allowing the filmmaker to craft something that can have one foot in and outside the troubled DCEU. With Flashpoint now put on the back burner, the 36-year old is gearing for an epic feature.
Sandberg: Let's Ride This Momentum Until It Stops
Speaking with Collider, the director would open up to the press following the announcement of his hiring at San Diego Comic-Con. But ask the man for a release date, and he is none the wiser.
"Yeah, I don't know if it's official," he remarked. "It's coming up."
Those in the know believe that a shoot for February or March in 2018 will be taking place, a position that was essentially confirmed when Sandberg was asked what would be next on his agenda.
"Pretty much going into Shazam! right away," he replied. "I mean my life's just become so weird because I got to do Lights Out and immediately afterward I got to do Annabelle and now I'm going straight into Shazam!, so it's like I'm on a roll so let's just keep going until they kick me out of Hollywood."
Director Admits He Won't Go Down The De-Aging CGI Route
This adventure will work as an origin story, detailing how Shazam! went from a youngster to one of the most powerful figures in the universe. Sandberg outlined how comfortable he is working with people of all ages, especially given his experience with Annabelle: Creation.
"Well I mean overall, I’ve been working with kids in both my movies to my success and there will be kids in Shazam! and the main character is this kid who becomes an adult."
One theory that could be put into practice would involve a de-aging process, utilizing CGI to make the protagonist young again. Is that something he might have entertained?
"I wouldn't want to do that," he responded. "That seems like way too much of a hassle. So I think it's just kind of best to have a kid and an adult."
Sandberg saw currency with Marvel using that technique, but believes Shazam! would be better served with splitting the responsibilities.
"They've done quite well, I mean Kurt Russell was in the latest Guardians (of the Galaxy Vol. 2) was really well made I thought, but I think there's a limit to it as well. You probably can't do someone to be a kid. Why create that hassle for yourself?"