After fans started drawing comparisons between the popularly derided suit from Batman Forever and the suit from the upcoming DC superhero adaptation Shazam!, the movie's director, David Sandberg (Annabelle: Creation, Light's Out), didn't go down without a fight. In fact, he took to social media to troll a fan who pointed out the negative comparison.
Based on the comic book of the same name from writer Bill Parker and illustrator C.C. Beck, Shazam! centers around a young orphan named Billy Batson (played by Asher Angel) who is granted a number of magical powers that enable him to transform into a hero known as Captain Marvel (in early comics) or Shazam (in later comics). With the ability to transform into the much older superhero (played by Zachary Levi) simply by uttering the word, "Shazam!," Billy relishes in his newfound powers alongside his best friend Freddy Freeman (played by IT's Jack Dylan Grazer) until a greater threat - courtesy of Dr. Thaddeus Sivana (played by Mark Strong) - begins to interfere. And now that the first official images of Levi have surfaced, showcasing the hero's deliberately over-the-top ensemble, director David Sandberg took to social media to defend the movie's aesthetic choices to critical fans.
After some criticisms surfaced from fans regarding the design of Shazam's suit, Sandberg took to Twitter to troll the critics. One fan commented on a photo retweeted by Levi that revealed a hi-res shot of the actor in costume on the cover of EW. The fan's comment was specifically directed at Sandberg when he said, "jesus Christ. what the hell is this? David we thought ur gonna bring the DCEU back to the track. but this looks like BATMAN FOREVER S***." However, instead of taking the criticism to heart, Sandberg responded with a humorous slant:
The fan also took aim at the string of critical failures within the DCEU - including Man of Steel, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Suicide Squad, and, most recently, Justice League - suggesting that Shazam! lost its chance to stand alongside Wonder Woman as a positive outlier in DC's extended universe. Meanwhile, Sandberg's sarcastic response might also loosely refer to the SNL feature-length movie Coneheads, in which Dan Aykroyd's alien character has two nipples on his behind.
Harsh criticisms from fans are inevitable with any comic book adaptation, but between the backlash against Joss Whedon's cut of Justice League, Man of Steel's handling of Superman, and the DCEU's interpretation of the Joker, DC has still managed to continue standing tall. Along with their misfires, they have successes (namely with Wonder Woman, as well as their perseverance to learn from their mistakes and pursue a new direction with their adaptations), and as long as the filmmakers behind the scenes have thick skin, they've got a shot at proving the DCEU isn't yet down for the count.
Source: David Sandberg
- Shazam! (2019) release date: Apr 05, 2019
- Wonder Woman 1984 (2020) release date: Jun 05, 2020
- Aquaman (2018) release date: Dec 21, 2018