'Shazam!' remake names writer

Billy Birch tapped to rework comic book adaptation

Actor-turned-writer Bill Birch has been tapped to reboot "Shazam!," Warners' adaptation of a DC Comics series featuring Captain Marvel.

Geoff Johns, one of the three DC Comics heavyweights hired by the studio to act as consultants on DC projects, is also helping with the kick-start, co-writing the story with Birch.

It's somewhat fitting that Birch takes on "Shazam!" as his very name echoes the name of the comic's hero, 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.

The project, which was housed at New Line for several years, has had a tough time taking flight, with writers William Goldman, Bryan Goluboff, Joel Cohen and Alec Sokolow, as well as John August taking turns writing a script.

Peter Segal remains attached to direct and also is producing with Michael Ewing.

Greg Silverman is overseeing for Warners while Gregory Noveck oversees for DC.

Birch, repped by ICM and Anonymous Content, has appeared in TV shows ranging from the original "Beverly Hills, 90210" to "Grey's Anatomy" to "The Unit." He is currently writing Warners' "One Finger Salute" to which Segal is attached to direct.

Johns is repped by WME.
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