Rumors are circulating about who will star as Captain Marvel in the superhero movie Shazam! written by John August and to be directed by Peter Segal (Get Smart). Names being tossed out as potential Captain Marvels include wrestler/actor Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson and Jake Gyllenhaal.
One actor who’s actively campaigning for the role is Brandon Molale who previously worked with director Segal on The Longest Yard. The powerfully built Molale, best known for bit parts in Mr Deeds and Dodgeball, has been making films for the last eight years and will soon be starting work on his 27th movie. Molale is quite open about wanting to add a starring role in Shazam! to his resume. At the 2007 Comic Con Molale talked candidly about his desire to take on the superhero role.
What’s happening with Shazam!?
“Well, I’m very humbly flattered that they’re considering me for this part. I want to play Captain Marvel. I feel that if there’s ever any Marvel or DC comic book hero that I look like… I look like this guy and who wouldn’t want to play Captain Marvel? You need a big, handsome, strapping gentleman to play this character. That’s what fans want.”
How are the talks going?
“I don’t deal with any negotiations or talks. If they want to say it’s in talks, my reps handle all that, that’s why you have agents. I know they’re writing the script right now. A gentleman named John August who did Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - he did the Charlie’s Angels movies – he’s writing a script."
I read what they talk about online. People email me, ‘Hey, they talked about this. What do you think?’ I say, ‘I don’t know.’ I’m just flattered that they’re considering me for this part. But I hear that they want it to go more of a route like Tom Hanks played in the movie Big where his character goes to the Zoltar booth and makes his wish that he wants to be big. So the character has a conflict between, ‘Do I stay this 13-year-old or do I have people not pick on me,’ or whatever your problems in life are. ‘I can be this big superhero guy.’”
What do you think about that direction for the story?
“I think it’s fantastic.”
What was your reaction when you heard Peter Segal was attached to Shazam!?
“The first time I heard about it, someone emailed me and said, ‘Peter Segal’s attached, what are your thoughts? Are you going to play Captain Marvel?’ I was like, ‘What? Who? What? When did that happen?’ But it definitely got me excited because I spent four months working with Peter on The Longest Yard."
Have you talked to Peter Segal?
“I ran into Peter at a football game. We didn’t talk anything about Shazam! I know Peter; I’ve worked with him on The Longest Yard so it’s not like I’m an unknown. Peter knows me, we’ve worked together. I had a great time working with him. I’d love the opportunity to work with Pete again. I’ll just tell all the fans out there, ‘Hey, keep voicing your opinion and telling them that you want Brandon Molale for Shazam!.’ But in the meantime, I know I’ve got Balls of Fury coming out next month.”
How did you get into acting?
“One of the reasons I got into acting was a fluke. I did not move to Los Angeles to become an actor. I’ve been very humbly blessed to be an actor as a career. I was a sports nut. I was a geek all my life. I wanted to be a professional football player. I played football at Fresno State and when my eligibility was up there I had opportunities to play professional football. I had tryouts and it didn’t work out. For two years I tried that. I always wanted to be a football player, but I fell into the business doing The Waterboy with Adam Sandler in ’98. I was doing football stunts in that movie. That was my very first take with anything with the business. And like every other actor does, you start out from completely ground zero and you work your way up. I was a non-union extra, starting out in this business and I realized, ‘Wow, this is a really interesting business that I don’t know anything about.’
I’d taken drama in college but I wasn’t a theater major. Like any other actor does, or any good actor does, you train and you work on your craft. You mold it like you would a piece of art. To forge a diamond you have to work. I’ve trained doing Shakespeare now, and I’ve trained doing plays from John Patrick Shanley who’s my favorite playwright and I’m where I am now as a working actor in this business. I just want to be a working actor. I’ve been blessed. I’m just blessed that people notice my work and continue to give me roles. I can’t thank my fan base enough.”