Former DCEU Head Walter Hamada Is Responsible for Shazam!'s Best Scene – CBR – Comic Book Resources

Shazam! screenwriter Henry Gayden recounts how former DCEU Boss Walter Hamada came up with the superhero film’s most heart-wrenching scene.
Shazam! screenwriter Henry Gayden has revealed that former DC Films president Walter Hamada is responsible for the best scene in the 2019 superhero film.
Following Hamada's departure as studio head, Gayden shared a Twitter thread that explained how the former DC boss helped him craft the emotional and heart-wrenching scene between Billy Batson and his mother in Shazam! "In early drafts of Shazam!, Billy's parents were dead. Late in Act 2, he discovered their gravestones in a Philly cemetery. It was very rote, very 'we’ve-seen-this-in-other-movies,'" the writer wrote, explaining how Hamada was the one to suggest that "Billy’s mom is still alive but doesn’t want him." Gayden recounted that he was initially reluctant to write such a scene, but Hamada told him to "Just try writing it. He finds his mom, and she doesn’t want him. If it doesn’t work, we have the cemetery scene. Try it."
RELATED: Batgirl Axing Nearly Caused Controversial Walter Hamada to Quit Warner Bros.
The writer continued, "I hung up. All I had was the basic idea. No character. No setting. I sat down and tried to write the scene. An hour later, it was my favorite scene in the movie. That was the scene that [the] movie needed — so much so that when we were filming it, I told our producer on set, 'If this scene doesn’t work, the whole movie doesn’t work.' […] I still believe the movie wouldn’t fully work without that scene. And it was Walt’s idea. I literally told him he was crazy."
Hamada was appointed the head of DC Films in Jan. 2018 and remained in the position until the release of Black Adam in Oct. 2022. Initially, Warner Bros.' DC output under Hamada was well-received, with Aquaman (2018), Shazam! and Joker (2019) released to both critical and commercial success. However, later in his tenure, he was at the forefront of several negative headlines connected to allegations that had been made by former Cyborg actor Ray Fisher, who had accused him of enabling and supporting the allegedly toxic and abusive behavior that took place during reshoots on the 2017 film Justice League, which were helmed by Joss Whedon.
RELATED: Black Adam: DCEU Boss Walter Hamada Vetoed Plans for a Superman Cameo
Black Adam marks Hamada's final film released under his tenure, with the DC film serving as an origin story for the title character as well as a spinoff of Shazam! An official sequel to the 2019 film, titled Shazam! Fury of the Gods, is scheduled for release in 2023 with Asher Angel and Zachary Levi reprising their role as Billy Batson and his superhero alter-ego Shazam, respectively. The upcoming DC Extended Universe installment will find the Shazam! Family fighting the Daughters of Atlas, played by Helen Mirren, Lucy Liu and Rachel Zegler.
Shazam! is currently streaming on HBO Max. Shazam! Fury of the Gods opens in theaters on March 17, 2023.
Source: Twitter
Lee Freitag is a Senior Writer at CBR, reporting on the latest movie and TV news. Raised on the Canadian Prairies, Lee enjoys spending time with friends and family and watching Back to the Future for what has to be the hundredth time.
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