An animated deleted scene that was to be included in Shazam! has been released, with the voices provided by the film’s director David F. Sandberg. This comes not long after the announcement of the film’s Blu-ray release date, the special features of which will include deleted scenes, with this most likely being one of them.
Shazam! is the seventh movie in the ever-expanding world of the DCEU. Introducing the notion of magic to the shared universe, it follows teenager Billy Batson, an orphan bouncing between foster homes who is chosen by an ancient wizard to inherit the titular mantle, which comes with a grab-bag of superpowers and the ability to switch to a comically muscular adult form while retaining his teenage mentality. After learning that his newfound abilities are for more than his own amusement, his first test comes from facing the machinations of a vengeful scientist who wants the power for himself.
The scene was released by director David F. Sandberg on his Instagram page. With the statement that the animation was intended as “a bad cartoon playing on a TV in the background,” it features a teenage Frankenstein’s Monster bemoaning being unable to attend prom in his current condition. A somewhat hippie-like Doctor Frankenstein begins espousing some wisdom about how his outer appearance is unimportant before the animation cuts out, as it was incomplete at the time of the deletion of the scene it was a part of and there having been little point in finishing it when it was no longer needed.
Sandberg first rose to prominence with the short horror film Lights Out, the success and popularity of which led to its expansion into a feature-length film and the director’s nascent Hollywood career. Any addition to his notoriety caused by his sharing a name and nationality with the creator of Kung Fury is likely negligible. Prior to this, he made a number of pieces of animation featuring varying levels of depraved humor, created using animation software Moho. This deleted scene was made with the same software, giving Sandberg the opportunity to briefly return to his roots.
The scene is another indicator of Shazam! having a far lighter tone than the rest of the DCEU and a lot to recommend it, it being amusing notions to have Frankenstein’s Monster as an insecure teenager and the Doctor himself as chilled out and laid back. Scenes are usually deleted for reasons of pacing or not providing any story details that aren’t related elsewhere, but in this case it’s a casualty of another scene that itself was considered extraneous, the context of which will likely be seen on the home release. As well as some background amusement, it’s possible that the scene was also intended as a parallel Billy’s own situation, with the outer appearance of the hero Shazam being very different to who he is as a person. It reinforces the notion of true heroism being an intangible inner indomitability rather than superhuman strength and lightning powers, and if you are going to be lauded as a hero, it should be for who you are rather than what you can do, something that Shazam! eventually allows its young hero to realize.
Source: David F. Sandberg
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