The director of Shazam! has revealed the inspiration for the recently revealed costume, and responded to some questions about its appearance. Zachary Levi recently posted the first official image of the Shazam movie suit during the Licensing Show in Las Vegas, and needless to say it caused a flurry of activity across the board on social media. However throughout the production of the film, David F. Sandberg has always been vocal about the progress and decisions made, so he went online to directly answer some of the questions flying around.
Ever since Shazam! was announced as a project for the DCEU, fans have been eager to see how the superhero would be imagined. The style of the costume in comic books has varied a little over the years from his first appearance in Whiz Comics in 1940. While the iconic overall red/white color scheme has remained mostly unchanged, recent interpretations have enlarged the bolt on his chest and added a hood to a bigger cape. But while the post from Levi was the first official glimpse of the super-suit, leaked photos from location shoots have led some to criticize what they'd seen, which caused Levi to call out the critics online. But this latest glimpse of Shazam has given people a chance to view the costume at closer quarters, which some are comparing to the style of an Alex Ross illustration, or linking the material to the DCEU Man of Steel suit.
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Sandberg himself has been busy on Twitter, and started to respond to posts as soon as Levi's photo hit the Internet, as he had previously promised he would. When asked why the cape wasn't bigger, he explained that the look of the costume was intended to look "old fashioned" and retro, figuring that it would make the character stand apart from the rest of the DCEU roster with their more modernized look. You can see his post below.
The filmmaker also took time to explain other issues around the costume. When asked why the lightning bolt symbol on the chest wasn't bigger and more substantial, he explained that it was mostly due to practicality and to allow Levi more movement. "You find out that a lot of things that look cool are very impractical," he explained. When another post mourned the lack of sparks and lightning flying around the hero in the image, Sandberg teased, "We're still working on the look of all that since it's a post effect." So although the costume has been revealed, it's probably fair to say that we have much more to expect from the visuals and the final appearance when we see it on theater screens and trailers.
The 'Golden Age' of comics is generally considered to be between the late 1930s to 1950s, so it's a nice callout to the character's origins by Sandberg and suggests the lighter tone for the film. The poster image from Levi's shot - with the character slurping a soft drink - seems to confirm what the cast had previously said about it being a "fun" superhero movie and basically Tom Hank's Big with godlike powers. Hopefully it will an entertaining move away from the perceived darkness of some other DCEU movies and Shazam! will provide some good "old fashioned" fun when it's released in April next year.
- Aquaman (2018) release date: Dec 21, 2018
- Shazam! (2019) release date: Apr 05, 2019
- Wonder Woman 1984 (2020) release date: Jun 05, 2020