Shazam! sequel in the works with original screenwriter

A Shazam! sequel is in development with original screenplay writer Henry Gayden.The movie, based on the DC Comics character of the same name, hit cinemas in the U.S. last Friday (05Apr19), with the story following Billy Batson (Asher Angel) as a teenag…

A Shazam! sequel is in development with original screenplay writer Henry Gayden.

The movie, based on the DC Comics character of the same name, hit cinemas in the U.S. last Friday (05Apr19), with the story following Billy Batson (Asher Angel) as a teenage boy who can transform into an adult superhero, as played by Zachary Levi.

Shazam! has received a largely positive response from critics, and grossed a worldwide total of over $159 million (£121 million) at the box office, with editors at The Wrap now reporting that a follow-up is coming.

Film insiders have told the publication that Gayden has been tapped to write the script, while David F. Sandberg is also expected to return as director, with Peter Safran serving as producer.

Gayden previously penned the screenplay for 2014’s Earth to Echo and was most recently attached to write the script for Last Human, an upcoming sci-fi flick to be directed by Phil Lord and Christopher Miller.

Little else is known about the sequel, though Levi has been busy with various projects in recent months, having landed the part of Benjamin in hit TV series The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, and the voice-acting part of Biff Tarkin in the TV show Star Wars: Detours.

However, the former Chuck actor indicated that he was confident that another Shazam! movie would be greenlit during an appearance on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert last Thursday, where he explained that he was determined to maintain the buff physique he had built for the role.

“I think I gained, like, 24 pounds (10 kilograms) in the first couple of months and I’ve stayed in the gym six days a week through all of it still, till this day. And I’m healthier and stronger than I’ve ever been and I’m so grateful for that,” the 38-year-old said. “I worked out today. I’m hoping for a sequel.”

Shazam! also features Mark Strong, Jack Dylan Grazer, and Djimon Hounsou, and is now showing in cinemas around the world.

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James Gunn’s Suicide Squad movie will be a ‘total reboot’

Filmmaker James Gunn’s planned Suicide Squad sequel will be a “total reboot” of the supervillain franchise, according to producer Peter Safran. The brains behind the Guardians of the Galaxy movies was hired by Warner Bros. bosses to write and direct t…

Filmmaker James Gunn’s planned Suicide Squad sequel will be a “total reboot” of the supervillain franchise, according to producer Peter Safran.

The brains behind the Guardians of the Galaxy movies was hired by Warner Bros. bosses to write and direct the follow-up to the 2016 blockbuster in October (18), but reports recently suggested he would be giving the comic book adaptation an overhaul after David Ayer’s version was critically mauled, even though it made almost $750 million (£565 million) at the global box office.

Now producer Safran, who worked on DC Comics films Aquaman and the upcoming Shazam!, has gone one step further, confirming that Gunn’s take on the group of misfit villains will completely revamp the brand.

“First of all, we don’t call it Suicide Squad 2 ’cause it’s a total reboot,” he told movie news site JoBlo.com. “So it’s The Suicide Squad, and I think people should be extremely excited about it.

“It’s everything you would hope from a James Gunn script and I think that says a lot and that promises a lot, and I know that we will deliver a lot.”

Safran’s comments emerge weeks after it was claimed that Will Smith will not be reprising his role as anti-hero Deadshot, leading Gunn to reach out to Idris Elba to take on the part.

He is currently in negotiations for the gig, which would team him with actress Margot Robbie, who is expected to return as Harley Quinn.

The forthcoming film is said to feature a whole new gang of supervillains, with Deadshot and Quinn the only main characters from the 2016 release to be involved in the next outing.

Gunn will begin production on the Suicide Squad project in the coming months, ahead of an August, 2021 release, before heading back to work with Disney and Marvel studio executives for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.

He was reinstated as director last week (ends15Mar19), following his initial dismissal in July (18), after controversial mean tweets he sent years ago resurfaced.

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