The characters of Shazam! have been interestingly miscredited by Google, with both Zachary Levi and Asher Angel being listed as Captain Marvel. Directed by David F. Sandberg, the film will star Angel as Billy Batson, a 14-year-old given the power to transform into an adult superhero, played by Levi. Following the impressive commercial success of James Wan's Aquaman, Shazam! is the next installment of the unofficially titled DCEU franchise. It will also serve as Warner Bros' latest attempt to shift gears following the abysmal failure experienced by Justice League. While projections suggest it won't enjoy the same level of financial success as Aquaman, the Shazam! early reactions have been overwhelmingly positive.
Created by C.C. Beck and Bill Parker, the character first debuted via Whiz Comics in 1940. Using the name Captain Marvel, the character went on to become the most popular of the decade. DC eventually acquired the characters, however, and integrated them into their universe. Due to a conflict with Marvel, however, they had to change the name from Captain Marvel to Shazam - so named after the magical word that grants Billy Batson his range of superpowers. Despite the film not yet in theaters, both the director and the producer are eager to return for a sequel.
It would appear, however, that Google failed to get the memo. In their searchable cast list, the film's main stars are credited as Captain Marvel. The rest of the cast are listed perfectly in line with their characters. Mark Strong is indeed Doctor Sivana and Djimon Hounsou will play the wizard from whom Billy receives his gifts. Levi and Angel, however, are given the character's original comic book title. Even Jack Dylan Grazer appears to be listed as Captain Marvel Jr. (the end is cut off), rather than Freddie Freeman. Take a look at a screenshot of the mix-up below.
Captain Marvel is, of course, the latest outing from the ever-expanding Marvel Cinematic Universe. Starring Brie Larson in the titular role, the film has received largely positive reviews. Further, it has had a strong showing at the box office, perfectly hyping fans up even further for Avengers: Endgame. The tensions between Marvel and DC fans have re-emerged in recent weeks, with many especially pitting these two heroes against each other - despite Levi's efforts to bridge the gap.
There are a number of reasons Google could have gone this route. It could just be a simple mistake, based on the constantly evolving nature of comic books. That seems to particularly be the case with Angel's character. After all, he solely plays Billy Batson, the human alter-ego of Shazam. While they are one and the same, it isn't as simple as with Bruce Wayne/Batman or Clark Kent/Superman. The other possibility could be that it's all part of the marketing strategy. Thus far, the promotion of Shazam! has had roots in more light-heartedness and jovial trolling akin to the likes of Deadpool. Levi recently messed with a fan through social media. Even Sandberg got in on the act, when it comes to people asking for a trailer.
There will no doubt be fans, however, who will latch onto this as a potential hint that Shazam will reclaim his title. That is always a possibility, though extremely unlikely. It may get a nod, but it's doubtful that DC and Marvel would be willing to share the name. That theory will no doubt be bolstered, though, by the fact that Grace Fulton is credited as Mary Marvel. Between that and Grazer's credit, it could be that Billy will share his powers, further hinting that the entire Shazam family will play a part in the film's proceedings. How Google reacts between now and the release of Shazam! will no doubt clarify things. If they correct it, then it was indeed a mistake. For the time being, though, it offers fans much to consider.
- Shazam! (2019) release date: Apr 05, 2019
- Joker (2019) release date: Oct 04, 2019
- Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) (2020) release date: Feb 07, 2020
- Wonder Woman 1984 (2020) release date: Jun 05, 2020
- DC Super Pets (2022) release date: May 20, 2022
- The Batman (2021) release date: Jun 25, 2021
- The Suicide Squad (2021) release date: Aug 06, 2021
- Aquaman 2 (2022) release date: Dec 16, 2022