After thee out of four of their movies so far have received mixed receptions, DC execs need the next few films on their slate to be bonafide hits. One of the most promising is Shazam!, the upcoming pic starring Zachary Levi as the musclebound hero who’s really a kid (Asher Angel). Given that premise, fans believe this might be the first overtly comedic entry in the DCEU, and it seems as if they’re right.
Taking to Reddit this week, director David F. Sandberg has clarified that, yes, the movie will be “very funny.” However, to assuage those who think it might push the comedy too far, he explained that the humour will be situational rather than relying on an abundance of “quippy one-liners.”
“I think it’s very funny but the humor comes more from the situations rather than quippy one-liners (for people who read too much into things, that’s not intended as a dig at Marvel or anyone in particular. Quippy one-liners can be great). The important thing for me is to mix the funny with a threat that’s serious and to also have dramatic moments. All funny all the time takes the weight out of it.”
Having not seen any footage of Shazam! yet, Sandberg’s approach to the movie sounds spot on to us. Sure, make it funny, as the scenario of a child turning into not just an adult but also a superhero kind of requires it. But the other aspects of the story shouldn’t get lost amongst the yucks and that’s something that Sandberg seems to understand.
For one of the big influences on Shazam!, we just have to look at previous comments the cast have made on the topic. Star Zachary Levi, for instance, has summed up the movie as “Superman meets Big,” referring to the 1988 film starring Tom Hanks as a 13-year-old in a man’s body.
The threat Sandberg’s talking about, meanwhile, will take the form of Doctor Sivana, as played by Mark Strong. The actor has described his character in the past as an “evil bastard,” so it sounds like Shazam! won’t skimp out on making the mad scientist a very dangerous antagonist, meaning we can definitely expect some drama and action along with the comedy, too, when the pic flies into theaters on April 5th, 2019.