Shazam! may not have hit the box office like a speeding locomotive, but those who did see Zachary Levi’s comedic spin on the World’s Mightiest Mortal were very vocal about its heart and charm. As of yesterday, fans can purchase the digital download of the film, which comes jammed packed with extras, including an alternate ending that swapped out that awkward Superman cameo with the whole Marvel/Shazam! family.
With its sizable cast of children actors and a reliance on family-friendly humor, Shazam! feels like an outlier amongst the films of the DCEU. In fact, when compared to the franchise flagship Man of Steel, the superhero comedy almost feels like it’s set in an entirely different universe. Therefore, it kind of makes sense that those behind the scenes wanted to end the movie with a Superman appearance – no matter how poorly done – to tie it all together.
But earlier this year, Sandberg revealed that an entirely different ending was shot just in case they couldn’t make the cameo appearance work, and you can check it out below:
i liked the original ending but this one is so much better!!!!!!!! cannot wait to see them in the sequel 🥺 pic.twitter.com/h5cDQq2MVk
— karla (@yvonestrahovski) June 30, 2019
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The director previously stated that the entire reason the scene was shot was because it was unclear if Henry Cavill would reprise his role as the Man of Tomorrow in the first place – which ultimately didn’t matter since the character was framed from the neck down:
“The alternate ending was a backup we shot in case the cameo at the end didn’t work. The alternate had all the kids transform and fly off to stop a hostage situation.”
While Superman’s appearance is a fantastic callback to an earlier scene, I personally think this ending is much more thematically relevant to the 120+ minutes that came before. Despite an almost Iron Man 2-level attempt to connect Shazam! to a larger universe, audiences still seemed to fall head over heels for Levi’s chemistry with his adoptive family at large, developing relationships that truly feel like the film’s greatest success.
Shazam! is available now on digital download, or you can wait and pick up the physical copy on July 16th.