Whereas superheroes like Bruce Wayne and Peter Parker are reeling off the deaths of their parents, Shazam!'s Billy Batson is looking for his family. The upcoming DC comic adaptation will follow the young orphaned hero as he attempts to find the surviving members of his family.
Based on the DC comic series from writer Bill Parker and illustrator C.C. Beck, Shazam! centers around a young orphan named Billy Batson (Asher Angel) who is gifted with magical powers that allow him to transform into a hero known as Captain Marvel (as he's referred to in early comics) or Shazam (as he's referred to later). By simply uttering the word, "Shazam!," Billy is able to transform into an older version of himself (Zachary Levi) imbued with a plethora of superpowers. However, while Billy enjoys his brand new powers alongside his best friend/foster brother Freddy Freeman (IT's Jack Dylan Grazer), he must also face the imminent threat of the villainous Dr. Thaddeus Sivana (Mark Strong). And as if his struggles weren't overwhelming enough, Billy is also determined to find his family. Shazam! also stars Djimon Honsou, Grace Felton, Natalia Safran, Ross Butler, and Adam Brody.
According to ComicBook, this upcoming adaptation of Shazam! is borrowing some of its plot from the New 52 DC relaunch version of the character, implementing Billy's pursuit of his biological family. Shazam! director David F. Sandberg (whose previous directorial work was based in the horror genre with movies like Lights Out and Annabelle: Creation) revealed that not only is Billy's mom "still out there," Billy is proactively trying to find her. However, when Billy is imbued with his new powers, that journey is temporarily interrupted. Freddy "helps him to discover his powers and how to be a superhero," which gets in the way of Billy's initial pursuit.
In the original comics, Billy's mother is thought to be dead, so Billy's journey will certainly take Shazam! in a unique direction. That said, his pursuit of his family does not necessarily confirm how many of them are alive, nor does it confirm that they want anything to do with him.
While Sandberg didn't further elaborate on Billy's emotional journey in Shazam!, family and identity are clearly the key factors in Billy's development throughout the movie. Not only struggling to fit in with the people who aren't his biological family, but taking on a new persona when he physically transforms into someone else, Billy's inner battle will no doubt focus on coming to peace with duality - a struggle for anyone, let alone an orphaned 14-year-old boy.
- Shazam! (2019) release date: Apr 05, 2019
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