During an interview with Total Film while promoting his newest release out this week, Hercules, Dwayne Johnson discussed what role he'd be most interested in playing in a DC hero movie. As he parsed his words it became pretty clear he was hinting at playing Captain Marvel, now known as Shazam.
Johnson's involvement in a comic book movie has been rumored for a long time. Back in March news broke that he and DC had found the right character without revealing which one it was. It sure appears from his answer that the logical role he's playing is Shazam.
He says there'll be an announcement real soon (presumably at Comic-Con this weekend) but it won't be the Green Lantern because there's already a version of that character (is Ryan Reynolds returning from exile?). However, the role he is playing is as powerful as Superman and can "throw down." He ended by saying the clearest clue, "just say the word. That's all I'm going to say."
Shazam! That's the word it has to be because that's all it takes for young Billy Batson to transform into the very powerful, very Superman-like Shazam. Acquiring his powers from a dying wizard, the teenage foster child can utter the word and with a bolt of lightning change into an adult with super-strength and ability to fly.
You'd think with a premise like that DC/Warner Bros. would have brought this hero to film years ago. It is tailor-made to capture the imaginations of young kids like it did in the 1940's in comic book form.
The possible casting of Johnson as Shazam could be the most significant casting since Heath Ledger as the Joker. In Johnson, WB has a star, not just an actor, an actual star that can transcend audiences.
Since he emerged as one of WWE's superstars with the moniker, The Rock, his signature catchphrases and raised eyebrow made him a fan favorite. He slowly made the transition into acting roles. Beginning with some action films and TV appearances, many on the Disney Channel, he has been on an upward trajectory ever since.
Whether the genre is action (The Scorpion King, G.I. Joe: Retaliation, Fast & Furious), comedy (Get Smart, The Other Guys, Pain & Gain) or kid fare (The Tooth Fairy, The Game Plan, Race to Witch Mountain) chances are someone in your household has paid to see Johnson on the big screen.There are thousands of young fans who've grown up with The Rock, rooted for him, imagined themselves dropping The People's Elbow on an opponent. His charisma, presence and approachable demeanor lends itself greatly to a hero that has to play a child in a super-man's body.
And by the way his films have amassed $1.56 billion dollars.
Johnson represents many things. He's an action star. A personable, charitable star without an air of privilege who's accessible to fans and a fixture on social media. He's also a popular figure who also happens to be a person of color. Something that is rare on big budget superhero films. Changing Batson's race amid a Justice League of mostly white characters would mean a great deal to kids of color who would see themselves on screen as much as they'd see Johnson.
Sometimes it takes time for the right actor to take on the right role. Even though some fans see Johnson more as another hero or as the villain Black Adam it's as Shazam that could appeal to adults as well as kids. And when you have a unique hero as Shazam that is exactly what you need.
Source: Total Film