David F. Sandberg, the Swedish director who made the low-budget flick Lights Out a hit, is in talks with New Line Cinema which is eyeing him as their director for their Shazam! movie.
The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed that talks between Sandberg and the studio are underway. Sandberg has impressed producers with the box-office results of Lights Out which earned 300 times the amount of its measly $4.9 million budget. Sandberg has currently wrapped filming on Anabelle II, another horror flick which has a demonized doll haunting a trapped family.
At this point, we can well wonder why call on a director who made his career in terror to direct a superhero flick. One guess is that Sandberg, who has played with the psyches of kids alike in both films, will need those same insights to make Shazam! power up as a popular movie. Shazam is one of the few heroes who can fight toe-to-toe against Superman. But outside of his red tights, magic - and uttering that name "Shazam!" - turns him back into a 10-year-old boy who is more innocent and wide-eyed than DC's resident boy scout.
Sandberg's performance at the box-office can't hurt, either.
While the part of Shazam has still to be cast, Dwayne Johnson has already signed on to star as his archenemy and polar opposite, Black Adam. Johnson will appear in the Shazam film and his own standalone movie.
New Line Cinema has pegged the release date of Shazam in 2019. In the meantime, the clip below can show us an animated slugfest between the hero imbued with the power of the gods and his more craftly, black-clad nemesis.