Shazam director David Sandberg talks about moving away from his horror film roots.
When director David Sandberg was announced as the director of Shazam, people were excited — however, there were quite a few who felt it was a peculiar choice. It wasn’t a bad choice, just an odd one, considering Sandberg has mostly worked in the horror genre.
Speaking with MovieFone, Sandberg talked about switching genres and what he hopes to bring to the DC Extended Universe:
"“This will be very different than what I’ve done in the feature space, because it’s not a horror movie and it’s a much lighter tone. But it’s something that I look forward to trying out, even though I plan to return to horror in some fashion … My background, back in Sweden, before I started doing horror shorts, I was doing animated comedy shorts. It’s not totally alien to me to have more of a comedy approach. I look forward to taking that on in a feature.”"
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When asked about what aspect of Captain Marvel’s story Sandberg liked the best, the director candidly admitted that he wasn’t familiar with the superhero:
"“It wasn’t a character I grew up with. It was published in Sweden, where I’m from, in the ’70s, so it’s a little before my time. So I only knew him from the Justice League … It’s not until now that I’m getting into the comics and reading a lot of the old ones, the Geoff Johns ones, ‘The Power of Shazam,’ and looking at a bunch of animation. So I’m really getting to know the character.”"
All of this may sound like a letdown for hardcore fans. However, might I remind you of two franchises that were directed by people not familiar with the stories — and also came from outside the genre.
Master filmmaker Christopher Nolan was not a comic book fan or even familiar with Batman. But he created one of the greatest superhero series to ever grace the silver screen with his Dark Knight trilogy.
The Russo brothers — who directed Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014) and Captain America: Civil War (2016) — came fresh from the sitcom Community. With two of the strongest installments in the MCU, the Russo brothers have cemented themselves as one of the greatest directors in the superhero genre.
I’m very interested in seeing what Sandberg has in store for Shazam. After all, he’ll be adding a lot of humor to it. Fans need to remember that Captain Marvel is, inherently, just a boy underneath all those powers, so it’s a funny situation to begin with.
Production on Shazam is set to begin sometime in 2018.