Several photos have been leaked from the sets of Shazam, the DC Extended Universe movie that is set to come out in April of next year. In particular, we have now seen images of the protagonist’s superhero costume from both the front and the back, which has, in turn, led to much discussion among fans and critics about its merit or lack thereof.
What many have focused on is the costume’s decidedly “old school” design—that is, the fact that it looks like spandex, rather than the sort of “armored” look that has been used through the DCEU. This style came into fashion with the Christopher Nolan Dark Knight Trilogy and is designed to look more functional. The Shazam outfit, as seen worn by star Zachary Levi, looks more like something Christopher Reeve would have worn in one of the old Superman films.
Of course, that may be the point. From the beginning, Shazam has been billed as a lighter, more humorous film than the other entries in the DCEU, which have been criticized as being overly dark (except for Wonder Woman, which notably has also been the franchise’s only unqualified success). A decidedly “sillier” costume could help to emphasize that point, giving Shazam/Captain Marvel (real name Billy Batson, a teenage boy who transforms into a superpowered adult) a purposefully less “realistic” look.
We already have some hints that Shazam will go for some meta humor; one of the leaked photo shows a toy store filled with superhero plushies, which interestingly do not match the characters’ appearances in the DCEU. For now, we are left wondering just how different this movie will be, and how well the costume will help reflect that difference.
The upcoming DC Extended Universe film Shazam has finally begun filming, with director David F. Sandberg announcing the milestone on his Instagram account.
His photo from the set does not give us a lot of information, however: it simply shows a clapperboard with the film’s working title, “Franklin” on it, along with the scene, take and roll (308, 1, and B1, if you’re curious). Sandberg’s message: “Let’s go!”, along with a lightning bolt emoji (lightning being a motif of the movie’s superhero).
Based on the classic Golden Age superhero Captain Marvel, Shazam stars Billy Batson (played by Asher Angel), a teenage boy who can transform into an adult superhero (Zachary Levi) when he says the magic word “Shazam!” He will have to go up against the evil Thaddeus Bodog Sivana, who will apparently be some kind of sorcerer (in the comics he’s usually a mad scientist), as well as his children Beautia and Magnificus.
It is set to be the seventh entry into the DC Extended Universe, premiering in April 2019 after this year’s Aquaman.
Sandberg has promised that Shazam will be a more humorous take than the other entries in the franchise, which (with the exception of Wonder Woman) have been criticized for being overly dour and convoluted. This story, about a poor and orphaned child who turns his life around by becoming a superhero, however, has always been about wish fulfillment, and Warner Bros.’s decision to fast-track it may be a deliberate attempt to turn the perception of the DCEU around.
Levi’s character may not be the only superhero in this movie, either; current rumor says that Henry Cavill’s Superman may show up for a cameo in this film, but so far this remains unconfirmed.
It upcoming film Teen Titans GO! to the Movies is aiming for some meta humor, with its first trailer making some jokes about the DC Extended Universe.
Based on the Teen Titans Go! TV show on Cartoon Network, the film will star Robin, Starfire, Cyborg, Beast Boy and Raven as they go to Hollywood and try to get their own movie, thus proving that they are a legitimate superhero team.
If that synopsis wasn’t meta enough, its first trailer, released on January 10, begins with Robin addressing the audience and assuring them that it is not costumes or powers that make a great hero—it’s getting your own movie. As he is talking, his teammates show up, all of them, male or female, wearing Wonder Woman costumes. They all sing her praises and admit they she inspires people… unlike them, who do not.
For those not following the DCEU, Wonder Woman has been a fan favorite since she showed up in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, and her solo film is the only one which has won the approval of both critics and audiences. It could also be read as a response to how she was played up more in the marketing of Justice League as a result.
The DCEU nods continue at the very end, where we see a certain Atlantean king standing with a dolphin as the narrator says “Because if Aquaman can get a movie… anyone can.” His film is currently in post-production and comes out December 21, a few months after Teen Titans Go! to the Movie’s July 27 release.
Though a divisive show, all this suggests that the TTG movie may have a bit of clever humor for its detractors to enjoy.
There is no genre hotter right now in the entertainment world than that of the comic book. While Marvel continues to take top flight at the box office, the DC Universe has slowly and steadily been climbing back into action. Most recently the ‘Justice League’ film, which is expected to be DC’s highest grossing film, is set for release. Now, fans are looking ahead to a potential ‘Black Adam’ feature film that has Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson attached. While Johnson has been talking up the project for months, nothing definite has been in the works behind-the-scenes until now.
Black Adam is a popular villain/anti-hero in the DC Universe and the attachment of Dwayne Johnson only fueled fan expectation that a project would get made. Johnson is one of the most prolific working actors in the industry today with a film set to release seemingly now until the end of time. While fans were excited, the action seemed to be slow behind the scenes. However, a report by The Tracking Board seems to indicate that a script is in the works. Adam Sztykiel is set to pen the script but that shouldn’t exactly give fans much heart. Sztykiel is most famous for his work on a trio of light-hearted projects like ‘Due Date’, ‘Undateable’ and ‘Made of Honor’.
With Sztykiel attached to the project, it gives us a glimpse into the world that Dwayne Johnson might soon inhabit. With Johnson’s natural charisma and Sztykiel comedy chops it makes sense that DC might be pursuing a ‘Guardians’ or ‘Thor’-esque comedic slant. Dwayne Johnson is one of the most likable actors in all of Hollywood so it doesn’t make sense for DC to chase the traditional ‘dark and gritty’ route that so many of their other films have fallen prey to recently.