Right now, DC fans are mostly thinking about Aquaman‘s imminent arrival in cinemas next month, but let’s not forget that we also have Shazam! coming in Spring 2019. The movie about the hero formally known as Captain Marvel promises to be very different from the DC films we’ve had of late and looks likely to complete the franchise’s transition from brooding, darker material to family-friendly adventures with an emphasis on fun.
That new tone is definitely teased in the fresh synopsis seen below, which promises lots of good times to be had when teen Billy Batson transforms into the adult musclebound hero of the title. The description doesn’t really offer anything we didn’t already know about Shazam!, but it does hint a little about what role Mark Strong’s Sivana will play.
We all have a superhero inside us, it just takes a bit of magic to bring it out. In Billy Batson’s (Asher Angel) case, by shouting out one word—SHAZAM!—this streetwise 14-year-old foster kid can turn into the adult Super Hero Shazam (Zachary Levi), courtesy of an ancient wizard (Djimon Hounsou). Still, a kid at heart—inside a ripped, godlike body—Shazam revels in this adult version of himself by doing what any teen would do with superpowers: have fun with them! Can he fly? Does he have X-ray vision? Can he shoot lightning out of his hands? Can he skip his social studies test? Shazam sets out to test the limits of his abilities with the joyful recklessness of a child. But he’ll need to master these powers quickly in order to fight the deadly forces of evil controlled by Dr. Thaddeus Sivana (Mark Strong).
As you no doubt know, we got a glimpse of Sivana in the first trailer, which unexpectedly landed at SDCC over the summer. The bald baddie was somehow able to match Shazam’s incredible strength, but that was all the preview told us about the villain. Now, however, we know that he’s also controlling “deadly forces of evil,” whatever that means.
Presumably, the film will draw inspiration from The New 52 version to some extent, meaning that Sivana will likely be interested in acquiring powerful magical abilities himself. In the comics, he works towards this by allying with Black Adam, but it doesn’t look like Dwayne Johnson’s nemesis will be appearing.
So far, the buzz around Aquaman suggests that it’s going to be a Wonder Woman-sized hit for DC, so hopefully the same will be true of Shazam! when its own time to shine rolls around in April next year.