Friday, August 21, 2009

The Power of SHAZAM!!

...once again stymies Hollywood! Topless Robot has their own take.

John August has a telling quote:
I chatted with one of the "Shazam!" producers, Michael E. Uslan, and he told me even then that any Captain Marvel movie's great challenge would be answering one question: If you were a little kid who could turn into an all-powerful, handsome adult, why on Earth would you ever change back?

Wow. It sounds like someone in Hollywood had a rotten childhood and can't imagine why they'd go through being a youngster all over again. The Howling Curmudgeons offer their own take on Mr. Uslan's reasoning.

To me, Captain Marvel is an easy concept: a young decent optimistic kid, powerless in his normal circumstances, changes into a decent, optimistic superhero (think Christoper Reeve's Superman) to have adventures and to stop bad guys adults seem powerless to stop. There could be a bit of satire (as in Jeff Smith's version) showing adults as kind of... dopey or blind or too willing to give up their power to think for themselves or living in fear to do the right thing. Plus it could be about using imagination, which seems to be a thing stamped out of "normal" adults. These are not themes foreign to Hollywood movies, it's just that trying to apply them while trying to duplicate or surpass the success of "The Dark Knight" may not produce a movie most people will want to watch.

A good Captain Marvel movie would be closer in spirit and tone to something released by Pixar, something with heart and adventure. It's tough imagining "The Incredibles" or "Up" in a "Dark Knight" mold but I think that's the weird knot that's keeping the movie from being made.

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