The director of Shazam! has teased that a character from his previous film Lights Out will make an appearance in the DCEU entry. David F. Sandberg has become well-known for his proactive and humorous social media posts about the upcoming movie. Some of these have genuinely updated progress on the film, whilst others have good-naturedly trolled expectant fans with a fake trailer and similar jokes. However, when asked if the DC superhero story might crossover with his earlier horror movies somehow, the director gave an unexpected response.
Lights Out was Sandberg’s first full-length feature film, which was released in US theaters during 2016. Loosely based on a viral short that he shot in 2013, it told the story of a malevolent female spirit called Diana who could only exist and attack in darkness. Costing a comparatively low $4.9m to produce, it went on to gross over $148m worldwide. It also led to him helming the well-regarded horror sequel Annabelle: Creation, with the spinoff from The Conjuring universe earning a global gross of over $306m. The transition to the realm of superheroes seemed like an unlikely leap across genres, but Sam Raimi obviously performed the same feat with his Spider-Man trilogy, and Sandberg has also wholeheartedly embraced the role.
Constantly using his Twitter to communicate and tease expectant Shazam! fans, the director was recently asked whether there was any chance that the DCEU film might crossover with Annabelle. Perhaps surprisingly, he replied that there would indeed be an “Easter Egg” originating from Annabelle: Creation, and even added that a “character” from Lights Out was in the movie. You can see his full post below:
While Sandberg is often highly mischievous and loves misdirecting people in his posts, there is likely to be some truth to his statement. The actress/producer Lotta Losten – who also happens to be Sandberg’s wife – appears in most of his productions. She was the only (human) character in the Lights Out short, and appeared as Esther in the full-length movie. Esther is the first person to encounter Diana, before her boss has a more fatal meeting with the spirit. Losten appears in film listings for Shazam! as an unnamed character, and it seems quite feasible that she could appear in a cameo as "Esther." It’s also worth noting that the young protagonist from Lights Out (Martin played by Gabriel Bateman) is a DC fan in that film. He wears a Batman t-shirt, owns a Robin action-figure, and even has a Justice League poster in his bedroom. So Sandberg’s comment about the “same universe” is already qualified to some degree, and could even tie into his comment in some way.
Obviously nobody is seriously expecting the DCEU to incorporate a shared horror universe. But whatever Easter Eggs and in-jokes appear in the upcoming movie, the anticipation of forthcoming teasers and more footage is creating some positive buzz around the film. With a more lightweight and fun tone expected, the tale of Billy Batson’s transformation into the titular superhero is becoming more interesting as time goes on. We’ll probably only learn the truth about Sandberg’s horror movie teases when Shazam! is released in April 2019.
Source: David F. Sandberg
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- Shazam! (2019) release date: Apr 05, 2019