Peter Segal says Shazam!

Longest Yard director helming New Line cinema’s DC comic adaptation

Peter Segal - better known for trying to make us laugh with Adam Sandler films such as 50 First Dates and The Longest Yard - has jumped aboard the comic book adaptation bandwagon.

He’ll helm Shazam! (Yes, you have to include the exclamation mark), which is based on DC Comics’ Captain Marvel. The plot follows one of the more common superhero archetypes - a normal lad called Billy Batson is chosen by a wizard (the titular Shazam) to become a heroic adult superhero with a whole host of powers. All he has to do to activate his newfound talents is utter the wizard’s name - which conveniently is also an acronym for six ancient gods and the abilities they bestow on Marvel. In order, then: the wisdom of Solomon, the strength of Hercules, the stamina of Aries, the power of Zeus, the courage of Achilles and the speed of Mercury. Blimey, it sounds like this bloke could manage anything.

While you puzzle over why a DC superhero would be called Captain Marvel (isn’t that free advertising for the competition?), Segal will have to set about getting his team in place. No one has been cast as Billy/Marvel yet, though given his history with the man, surely Sandler is a shoo-in. And chances are he’ll hire yet another writer - the likes of William “All The President’s Men” Goldman, Bryan “The Basketball Diaries” Goluboff and the writing duo of Joel Cohen and Alec Sokolow (Cheaper By The Dozen) have already had a go at the script.