When Warner Bros. revealed their ambitious slate of DC superhero movies, Shazam was scheduled for April 5, 2019. That’s four years away, which is an awfully long time to sit on a project that already has a lead in Dwayne Johnson. However, the latest news from The Rock himself suggests that the 2019 release date may have been more of a guideline than an actual plan and that Shazam may arrive sooner than expected.

Speaking to press on the red carpet prior to the Academy Awards, Johnson (who really can wear the hell out of a tux) chatted about the film, offering his fair share of vague updates. He mostly said things that we have already heard before: yep, he’s playing Shazam’s nemesis, Black Adam and yes, he will begin the movie as the bad guy before morphing into an anti-hero and no, they do not have an actor lined up to actually play Shazam quite yet. But he does mention that the script is coming along much faster than anticipated and that “[the film] may happen a little earlier than has been predicted.”

Developing a film is a tricky process filled with all kinds of roadblocks. Any number of things can derail development, from a string of bad screenplay drafts to creative differences. In this case, we are talking about a film that doesn’t have a finished script or a director. So when Johnson says that Shazam may arrive earlier than predicted, don’t get too excited quite yet.

At the same time, why wait? People adore Johnson, superhero movies are still making a killing at the box office, and the inherently kid-friendly vibe of Shazam could (and should) provide an alternative to the darker world of Zack Snyder’s DC Comics movies. If this thing can get made before 2019, why not?

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