In light of the controversial direction DC Comics is currently taking the character, the follow blog will serve to educate those unfamiliar with the character of Billy Batson/Captain Marvel's publication history and why he deserves a movie. Please keep in mind I am posting only what I know, so please if any information is incorrect, alert me in a PM. Thank you.
Once upon a time Captain Marvel was extremely popular during the 40's and early 50's. He was so popular that he was even outselling Superman and was infinitely more popular. Part of the reason for this popularity included the inherent wish-fulfillment appeal of the character to children, as well as the humorous and surreal quality of the stories. The only problem was that DC sued Fawcett Comics, Captain Marvel's publisher at the time, for copyright infringement in 1941, on the basis that Captain Marvel was based on Superman. After seven years of litigation Fawcett decided to settle with DC out of court. The DC lawsuit was not the only problem Fawcett faced in regards to Captain Marvel.
While Captain Marvel Adventures had been the top-selling comic series during World War II, it suffered declining sales every year after 1945 and by 1949 it was selling only half its wartime rate.Fawcett tried to revive the popularity of its assorted Captain Marvel series in the early 1950s by introducing elements of the horror comics trend that gained popularity at the time. Feeling that a decline in the popularity of superhero comics meant that it was no longer worth continuing the fight, Fawcett agreed to never again publish a comic book featuring any of the Captain Marvel-related characters, and to pay DC $400,000 in damages. Fawcett shut down its comics division in the autumn of 1953 and laid off its comic-creating staff. Whiz Comics had ended with issue #155 in June 1953, Captain Marvel Adventures was canceled with #150 in November of 1953, and The Marvel Family ended its run with #89 in January 1954.
When superhero comics became popular again in the mid-1960s in what is now called the Silver Age of Comics, Fawcett was unable to revive Captain Marvel, having agreed never to publish the character again in order to settle the lawsuit. The publisher of DC Comics, licensed the characters from Fawcett in 1972, and DC began planning a revival. Because Marvel Comics had by this time established their own version of Captain Marvel as a comic book trademark, DC published their book under the name Shazam! Since then, that title has become so linked to Captain Marvel that many people who only have passing knowledge or are not entirely familiar with the character have taken to identifying him as "Shazam" instead of his actual name.
The Shazam! comic series began with Shazam #1, dated February 1973. It contained both new stories and reprints from the 1940s and 1950s. The first story attempted to explain the Marvel Family's absence by stating that they, Dr. Sivana, Sivana's children, and most of the supporting cast had been accidentally trapped in suspended animation for twenty years when the Sivanas attempted to put the Marvels into suspended animation, until finally breaking free when the Suspendium globe moved towards the sun.
With DC's Multiverse concept in effect during this time, it was stated that the revived Marvel Family and related characters lived within the DC Universe on the parallel world of "Earth-S". While the series began with a great deal of fanfare, the book had a lackluster reception. With their 1985 Crisis on Infinite Earths limited series, DC fully integrated the characters into the DC Universe. With the exception of an appearance by Lex Luthor in #15 of December 1974, the early, "Faithful to the original comics" versions never crossed over with the mainstream DC characters.
As DC has officially changed the character's name to Shazam(I would've preferred Captain Thunder since that WAS his original name before it was changed 1 issue later) I believe they can finally make a proper film. DC tends to have a knack for putting out their lesser known works when it's not Superman and Batman on the big screen. Examples include Watchmen(Wasn't very well know by the average public before the movie), V for Vendetta, and Constantine though this was just loosely based on the comic Hellblazer. I believe that a movie that keeps to the original concept of a boy that has had a hard life, yet still maintains a positive outlook, that is given the power to help the world in ways he could have only dreamed of by an ancient wizard is a story that I feel many people that aren't comic book readers would want to see. It basically has the elements of Harry Potter with the magical aspect, which could even be played up within the film and thus entice people to go see it, and as it involves a superhero with the popularity of superhero films at an all time high I don't see how a film could fail!