Billy Batson’s finally making his cinematic debut in next April’s Shazam! However, to an older generation of DC fans, the hero will always be known as Captain Marvel instead. Though the character – originally published by Fawcett Comics – was the first to spot the moniker, Marvel later claimed the name, leaving DC to rename him after his magic word.
Due to the legal issues surrounding Shazam’s former alter-ego, then, fans expected the upcoming movie to steer clear of the Captain Marvel title. During the Warner Bros. panel today at San Diego Comic-Con, though, one individual took the opportunity to ask whether the controversy around the name change would be addressed. Star Zachary Levi obviously didn’t want to give any spoilers away, but he did tease that “there’s fun had” with it.
“There’s fun had” could actually be a very apt tagline for Shazam! itself. The movie looks to be the most carefree and light-hearted entry in the DC Extended Universe yet, moving away from darkness of Batman V Superman and even the trying-too-hard humor of Justice League. The footage shown off earlier today promises a genuinely hilarious, good-natured ride starring a hero who’s been entertaining comic book readers since 1940.
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That said, Shazam! won’t entirely cut ties with the DCEU’s past. Recently released images featured a barrage of easter eggs and nods to previous DC movies, including Man of Steel, via Billy’s superhero-loving best bud Freddy Freeman’s bedroom. What’s more, producer Peter Safran has teased that it’s possible Shazam could join the ranks of the Justice League in a future film.
Staying in the here and now, though, Levi will be joined in Shazam! by Asher Angel, Jack Dylan Grazer and Grace Fulton, with Djimon Hounsou as Shazam the Wizard and Mark Strong as the hero’s nemesis, Dr. Sivana. Going by the trailer, it looks like director David F. Sandberg has knocked it out the park here and has produced a real – are we allowed to say this? – marvel.