Earlier today, we talked to David Sandberg, the super talented Swedish filmmaker behind last year's sleeper hit "Lights Out" and next week's "Conjuring" spin-off, "Annabelle: Creation." It was a lively chat that we'll have up next week, but, while we were on the phone with Sandberg, we couldn't help but ask about his next project, an adaptation of the DC comic book "Shazam."
We first asked if there was a specific tone that he was going for with the adaptation. (The character was created by writer Bill Parker and artist C.C. Beck way back in 1939.)
"This will be very different than what I've done in the feature space, because it's not a horror movie and it's a much lighter tone. But it's something that I look forward to trying out, even though I plan to return to horror in some fashion," Sandberg explained. "My background, back in Sweden, before I started doing horror shorts, I was doing animated comedy shorts. It's not totally alien to me to have more of a comedy approach. I look forward to taking that on in a feature."
We also asked if there was a particular run of the comics that he was drawing inspiration from. When we said how much we loved the miniseries from "Bone" creator Jeff Smith, Sandberg said he hadn't read that one ... yet. In fact, the character (and his rich background) is largely new to him.
"It wasn't a character I grew up with. It was published in Sweden, where I'm from, in the '70s, so it's a little before my time. So I only knew him from the Justice League," Sandberg admitted. "It's not until now that I'm getting into the comics and reading a lot of the old ones, the Geoff Johns ones, 'The Power of Shazam,' and looking at a bunch of animation. So I'm really getting to know the character."
Another item Sandberg confirmed: that this will be a New Line movie, not a Warner Bros. film. This suits the filmmaker just fine considering that both "Lights Out" and "Annabelle: Creation" were made for the studio. About New Line, the director said: "They've been awesome. I will keep making movies with them as long as they want me."
We'll have more from our interview with Sandberg next week, ahead of the release of "Annabelle: Creation" on August 11th.