After the Box Office successes of Batman v Superman and Suicide Squad, followed by the universal acclaim of Wonder Woman, it's fair to say that Dc is on a roll. With Justice League set to release this November, Aquaman currently filming, and several other films in various stages of development, the DCEU is certainly in full swing. Now, Shazam! is fast tracking its way to the big screen as it has just begun pre-production.
In his recent Instagram posts, director David F. Sandberg chronicled the first two days of production with some very artsy Instagram photos, showing a single can of Coke on "day one" and then showing several more the next day.
Shazam! is sixth in a long line of DCEU movies planned between now and 2020. The Sandberg-directed film is based on comics created C. C. Beck and Bill Parker for DC Comics, and will tell the story of a young boy, Billy Batson, who — upon being chosen by the Wizard Shazam — becomes a being of immense power. Posting on Reddit, Sandberg revealed that he'd chosen to do the project because of one very important element.
To keep it general and not go into script details I'd say the core thing that's appealing to me is the wish fulfillment. What kid doesn't want to be Superman? This is a kid that basically gets to become Superman.
What We Know So Far About Shazam!
Very recently, the director revealed that the main character in his film will be a child. This was a major concern fans had about the film, with many assuming that de-aging effects would be used, similar to the MCU's CGI in Civil War and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. Instead, it seems that Sandberg has opted to cast a child actor for the younger Billy Batson, and another for the adult version of the character — he told Collider that the CGI was "too much of a hassle".
The reason Shazam! will work so well is that it will be more of a family movie than DC's previous darker films, which should appeal to younger fans. As many will recall, the last time a child sporting a lightening symbol was introduced to the big screen, the film and its subsequent sequels went on to make close to 8 billion dollars, so it makes sense why the studio would push for a more lighter tone. If DC play their cards right, they could cash in on the audience that shot Harry Potter to fame. Sandberg confirmed this tonal shift in an interview with Toronto Sun:
In terms of what people can expect, I think this will be one of the more fun or lighthearted movies so far in the DC universe. It certainly will be a departure.
We also know that Dwayne Johnson's Black Adam will be getting a solo movie of his own instead of showing up as the villain in the film. Having said that, keep your eyes open in the post-credit scene, just in case we get a glimpse at The Rock in costume, setting up Black Adam's entrance to the DCEU in 2019.
Who Will Be 'Billy Batson'?
With the Pre-Production process underway, casting will soon begin. So far, Armie Hammer is the actor most associated with Shazam! This started when Dwayne Johnson (still a producer on Shazam!) hinted at his support of Armie Hammer in an interview with We Got This Covered — though he did not mention the actor by name. While many fans were quick to support The Rock's decision, it seems likely that Hammer will play Green Lantern rather than Shazam.
Another fan favorite for the role is Smallville alum Alan Ritchson. The actor has previously played DC character Aquaman on the hit CW series. Not only does he look the part, he has the right physique and good acting chops, too. Syfy's new Blood Drive has also proven that he's certainly leading man material. Furthermore, the actor has expressed his willingness to don the cape several times.
So far, no plot or casting details have been revealed. But with production officially underway, it's only a matter of time before more and more Shazam! related news starts coming our way. And while there's still quite some time before Shazam! hits our screens, taking a gander at Sandberg's films (LightsOut, Annabelle: Creation) one can rest assured that whenever the hero makes his live action debut, it will no doubt be to rapturous applause from critics and fans alike.