Sunday, August 31, 2014

EDITORIAL: Casting SHAZAM Correctly in the Cinematic Universe

 The casting....

In my and many others opinions the beauty of Shazam, whether you realize it consciously or not... stems from the fact that he is a little child who, when the word is spoken becomes a young adult who is in his prime, physically, mentally, etc.... A YOUNG ADULT...whether that was the initial intention when the character was written...I do no know...but that is how he has come to be perceived by fans when he is read, and that is how he has even come to be portrayed in the comic book...and movie ('s a lot easier to see as well) mediums. [You'll see that compared to Superman he looks younger, seeing as he logically is] That beauty is lost when a 14 year old becomes a 45 year old goes from being very cool to very weird...but also it takes the "cool I'm in my prime now...I’m jacked and I have all these powers!" aspect of casting someone 28-33 and replaces it (if you cast someone older) with "cool?...powers?...why am I in this old guys body?" Another thing to add when casting him is that he is indeed shorter than Black Adam but extremely broad. That is why my PERSONAL choice is Kellan Lutz...who I will dive into later in this write up.

Popular Choices That Really Just Don't Fit...

Patrick Warburton: The man may have a big child's voice, but this guy is 49 years old...and he looks like he could be older...he may be in tip top shape...but lets be real here...he doesn't fit the criteria to play SHAZAM. Can you imagine sitting in a theatre and watching a kid (12-16) transform into Patrick matter the powers I got...I wouldn't be to psyched to look down and see a body that although it may be huge...would also be an aging body.

Brandon Molale: Same deal here...maybe 10 years ago Molale could have made a convincing Shazam...but this is the same issue as above...he is 42 years old and you end up running into the same problem. People always say "but I can still see it" you have to think into the logistics behind it, if a magical wizard guy gave you powers to turn into the ultimate fighting machine...why would he give you the body of a 42 year old with a receding hairline and wrinkles just beginning to form?

**OTHER FAN-CASTS THAT THIS LOGIC APPLIES TO...Matt Bomer, Tom Welling, Joe Manganiello, and Jon Hamm****

In The Case of The Rock:

Lets just start with the most obvious thing...The Rock looks a damn lot like Black Adam...and he was previously tide to the role when a SHAZAM movie was previously in the works. Not to reiterate again but you run into the age issue once again with The Rock, as well as a look least the other two looked like SHAZAM 20 years ago. All around I think the Rock is the ideal choice for Black Adam. People say that he "acts like a child" and so thats why he would be a good fit for SHAZAM; but he also can act pretty seriously, his roles in G.I. Joe, and Fast 6 were not comedic, but not to serious, a nice balance for a cinematic Black Adam. Here are 2 of the most common complaints I here as to why he should not play Black Adam and why they aren't exactly right.

1) Not Egyptian Enough: In that regard, maybe he isn't..but he sure does look quite a bit like the drawn Egyptian counterpart...realistically the heavy accent in the movie that Black Adam has in some incarnations would most likely come off as campy and a little corny, and for good reason. As for his history in Kahndaq people complain about that being a huge issue for the movies seeing as he isn't Egyptian, but realistically it's one movie with a hero and a villain (anti-hero). They most likely wouldn't delve into the history of Black Adam to that degree, nor would they check in on his daily activities.

2) Why Sign a Big Name For One Movie?: Thats just it...they wouldn't Black Adam could quite easily become the DCCU's Loki...The Rock is already a likeable guy, why not perpetuate it. Why not make him the villain of the SHAZAM movie, and show his transition to anti-hero in the sequel, hell...he could even be the villain of the JL movie, especially considering JL: War replaced Aquaman with SHAZAM as a founding member of the Justice League and a recent Batman v. Superman rumor suggests that Aquaman may make an appearance as a scientist named Arthur Curry, which would line up with how the animated sequel to JL War, Throne of Atlantis has Arthur Curry begin the movie without knowing his Atlantean origins. Simply put, Black Adam is NOT a one off character, in truth, to some degree he has more depth then SHAZAM himself. 

My Casting for SHAZAM:

Derek Theler best known for his role on the TV show Baby Daddy...where he essentially already plays Shazam... he plays a HUGE (this guy is as big as the rock) hockey player who is essentially a big boy...basically what we are looking for in SHAZAM... Now I am not saying thats why he should be cast...but at least we know he can play that part and do it well. 

Aside from that his SIZE and AGE also fit the logical frame of things... you want someone to go toe to toe with the (now confirmed) Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson Black Adam....Theler has the size. Along with that as I stated before his age falls into the lower part of the range...but he looks a tad older than he is...he has a defined jawline, and is an all around good fit for the role.

SECONDARY CHOICE: This was originally my first choice...but after some thought it was changed.

Kellan Lutz: When people here this there are typically three responses I get:

1) "I could see that, it makes sense, great choice"

2) "He is a terrible actor, did you see Legend of Hercules, and Twilight? Plus that guy looks really dumb"

3) "Who is Kellan Lutz?"

To touch upon the second and only negative point there are a few things I would like to attack. Killeen Lutz isn't really a "terrible actor", he may not be the best....but in truth that would add to the campiness of him playing a little kid. This quote I found helps sum up my point,

"Lutz is a good choice because he has such a kid look and could be immature at times. He has that expression on his face like, "wow I have powers. I could do whatever I want! I can be like Superman! Lutz has that Billy Batson kid look in him."

But in truth, we all know that he was not the problem with either Legend of Hercules, or Twilight, those movies were bad because of either the writing (Herc.) or the plot was to teeny (Twilight). If you want to see Lutz prior to these two movies, check out "A Warriors Heart", he isn't half bad in it and does a good job in his role.

The second thing I would like to touch upon is the fact that he is "stupid", I would like to rebut with on simple fact, Kellan Lutz studied CHEMICAL ENGINEERING in college and passed with one of the highest marks in his class... doesn't sound like a stupid person to me....

To close this, I never said that he should definitively play the role, but he hits all the marks, looks, age, acting range...more so than other choices which have arisen as of late that aren't very logical, *cough* Channing Tatum *cough*


  1. Agree to Disagree with your rational as to why Brandon Molale would not work and why Kellen Lutz's eyes are too squinty and he still looks barely older than a teenager himself (ala Twilight).

    Also, the depiction of Captain Marvel himself should be - at most - a compromise of classic and new ... not unlike Zach Snyder's depiction of Superman in MOS. The film does not and should not follow a strict "New 52" guideline (i.e. NO HOOD (for one)). A compromise design between classic and new would be a smart "please the most people" move on the part of the film's production team.

    1. Molale falls under the same rational of everyone over 35...he is to can see it in his body...his skin...he looks old. As per the New 52...I never said solo New 52...I said it is more obvious in the New 52 that his body is that of a 27-32 year old.

      As for Lutz...he is 27...being a teenager ends at the latest...22...if not younger...I don't think anyone 23+ is ever considered a teen...and considering Billy is 13-15...Lastly you yourself called for a merge between pre and post new 52...about 50% of the time pre new 52...Shazam's eyes were so squinted they looked closed... ... not a look I like...but it takes the "Kellan Lutz has squinty eyes" argument out of play