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Moriarty Chats Briefly With The Rock Regarding SHAZAM!

Very early Wednesday morning, I braved the nightmare that is southbound traffic on the 101 so I could join a few other online writers for a visit to the set of GET SMART. There were two dates available: one featuring Steve Carell, The Rock, Dave Koechner, and Terry Crews, and the other featuring Carell and Anne Hathaway. Anything regarding GET SMART is still under embargo, but at one point, as the group of us were talking to The Rock, the subject naturally turned to SHAZAM!, which is scheduled to be directed by Peter Segal, who is the director of GET SMART. IGN’s Stax was the first to broach the subject, asking if Segal had ever brought the idea up to The Rock. What was surprising was just how forthcoming The Rock was: “Yeah. He did. Listen, John August is writing the script and he’s a tremendous writer, and I’ll just wait for the script to come in. I’d love to work with Pete again, and I would certainly want to work with John August. So it’s a possibility.” IESB’s Robert Sanchez was the next to ask about the film, asking about the costume and whether it would be updated or not. The Rock talked about just how much passion Segal has for the project and the character and assured us that it would be in very good hands. A few more questions about GET SMART went by, and then they called lunch. Everyone started to file out, and I found myself standing alone with The Rock. I passed on to him some comments made by a filmmaker friend about his potential as a movie star, and we started to chat as we walked out of the warehouse where the shooting was taking place. He asked me about SHAZAM!, and, in particular, about the character of Black Adam. “Which one do you think is a good fit for me?” Look, standing face to face with Dwayne Johnson, the guy is the right choice for either role. He’d make a killer bad guy, having fun with it, and he’s certainly got the look to pull off Black Adam. But there’s also a decency to him that’s almost immediate when you’re talking to him, this open quality. I told him what it is that has always made Captain Marvel such an interesting character in my opinion. “You’ve seen BIG, right, with Tom Hanks?” “Sure.” “Well, this is BIG with a cape. Billy Batson’s just a kid. But when he says that magic word, in an instant he’s turned into... well... you. It’s like giving a ten-year-old the keys to a Lamborghini. Black Adam might be a nice fit for you... but the role is Captain Marvel.” He got the funniest smile on his face as we talked for a few more moments about how careful he’s trying to be in mixing up starring roles and supporting roles and action and comedy right now, and then we shook hands as he headed off to lunch. This is a long way from happening. There’s no guarantee they’ll even offer a role to Johnson. But if they do, I hope he considers it. As action stars go, there are very few who can match him right now for both physical presence and for actual acting ability.

Drew McWeeny, Los Angeles

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