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New Writers Brought In to Rewrite 'Shazam!'


"Shazam!" apparently isn't as dead as what has been reported earlier this year. According to The Hollywood Reporter, actor-turned-writer Bill Birch has been picked up by Warner Bros. Pictures to reboot this adaptation of a DC Comics series that features Captain Marvel. In scripting the screenplay, he will get a helping hand from DC Comics writer Geoff Johns.


Currently writing Warners' "One Finger Salute", Birch who has starred in such series as "The Unit" and "Just Shoot Me!" is the sixth writer brought into the project to pen the screenplay. "The Princess Bride" scribe William Goldman, "The Basketball Diaries" writer Bryan Goluboff, "Garfield" screenwriters Joel Cohen and Alec Sokolow, and "Big Fish" penner John August have all taken a crack at adapting the comic series.


Birch's co-writer, Johns, is one of the three DC Comics heavyweights hired by the studio to act as consultants on DC projects. With the tapping of Birch and Johns, Warners is said looking to go back to the original DC Comics source material for inspiration.


Based on a popular comic series originally published by Fawcett Comics, this superhero film centers on Billy Batson, a teenager who becomes Captain Marvel when he utters the magic word "Shazam!". The name is an acronym for six gods and heroes of the ancient world as well as their attributes: 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.


"Get Smart" director Peter Segal remains attached to direct. He will also produce the feature project with his Callahan Filmworks partner Michael Ewing. Segal and Ewing had begun working on the project three years ago at New Line before it moved over to Warners.


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