Back in June, a widely circulated rumor suggested that Warner Bros. had plans to release a Shazam movie — based on the classic Captain Marvel character in DC Comics — in July 2016, just a few months after Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice arrives in theaters. The report followed an earlier admission by former professional wrestler and current rising star Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson that he’d been discussing with the studio which DC Comics character he’d be best suited to play.
Now it seems that Johnson himself has provided a link between these two reports that validates the former and answers the question posed by the latter.
In an interview with Total Film tied to this weekend’s premiere of Hercules (which casts Johnson as the famous mythological hero), the actor was asked about his talks with Warner Bros. and his thoughts on potential DC Comics characters he could conceivably bring to the screen.
“I will say this,” he replied in the interview (which you can watch below). “There’s a character out there that we’re going to announce very soon that I’m going to play.”
Johnson didn’t stop there, though, and offered up a hint about the character that stopped just short of being official confirmation that he’ll play Shazam, a.k.a. Captain Marvel.
“I’ll just say this: This character has the power of Superman, he can throw down,” he continued, only to think for a moment before adding with a smile, “Just say the word.”
In the DC Comics universe, Shazam is essentially a counterpart to Superman, with powers granted by magic instead of the latter’s alien origins. A young boy named Billy Batson was given the powers of Shazam by a powerful wizard, and he is able to transform into his powerful alter ego by saying the word “Shazam!” (Clearly putting a bit more weight behind Johnson’s “Just say the word” comment.)
Of course, it’s also worth noting that Johnson was attached to a much earlier version of a Shazam movie years ago in the role of Black Adam, Shazam’s foe, but that version of the project was scrapped a while back.
While there’s been no official confirmation from Warner Bros. regarding Johnson’s role or any plans for a Shazam movie, we’re likely to hear more about the studio’s plans for its DC Comics properties on Saturday during its Comic-Con panel in San Diego.