“Lights Out,” based on Sandberg’s short film, was a breakout success last summer for New Line with the horror film grossing nearly $150 million on a $5 million budget. Several months before the release of “Lights Out,” New Line hired the Swedish filmmaker to direct “Annabelle 2,” which will be out in August.
Shazam first appeared in 1939 as Captain Marvel in comic books published by Fawcett Comics as a creation of artist C. C. Beck and writer Bill Parker. He is the alter ego of teenage Billy Batson, who becomes the superhero when he says the word “Shazam!” — an acronym for the gods of the ancient world with 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.
Dwayne Johnson has long desired to be part of the “Shazam” movie and New Line confirmed that he had been cast as Black Adam in 2014 with Darren Lemke hired to write the script.
New Line and DC Entertainment announced last month plans to add a spinoff Black Adam film to the universe that will focus on Johnson’s character. As a result, Johnson is no longer attached to “Shazam.” Both projects are being developed concurrently.
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Sandberg is a native of Sweden. New Line hired him to direct “Lights Out” after seeing his short supernatural horror film, which he directed, wrote, co-produced, shot and scored. It was also produced by and starred Lotta Losten, who became Sandberg’s spouse in 2013. The news was first reported by the Wrap.