12. The 'Big' Keyboard Homage
From the very first time that the makers of Shazam! were allowed to discuss the movie, the description "Superman meets Big" became a common summation. And for obvious reasons, since the Tom Hanks movie about a kid who wishes to be an adult basically IS the story of Shazam, just with added muscles and superpowers. So it's only right that the movie pay direct homage.
By this point, there will be many in the audience who never saw Big, and therefore never saw the film's use of a floor-based keyboard. The version of the scene is much shorter with Billy and Sivana, and a lot less friendly. But a terrific moment for any older fans who have yet to recognize the similarities.
11. Billy's Parents Names
The specific reason that Billy Batson was abandoned has changed over the years, and the scene with his mother Rachel is a total invention for the movie. But one of the nicest details in the otherwise tragic story comes when Eugene explains the information he has found on Billy's birth parents. Specifically, their names.
Marilyn audiences get to meet, but Billy's father is only referred to as "C.C. Batson"--a reference to C.C. Beck, one of the creators of Captain Marvel back in his earliest Fawcett days.
10. Shazam's Lucky Number? Seven
Fans won't need to be told the significance of the number 7 in this story. But we're willing to bet that the frequency of the number will contain a few surprises. Obviously, the seven deadly sins and the Council of Wizard's numbering seven can be explained as intentionally matched.
But once you start adding in the fact that Billy's mother was just 17 when she left him, and now lives in apartment 707, and even the Subways system is shortened to SEPTA--the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority--is based on the number, it starts to look more and more like Billy Batson was destined to be connected to magic long before he ever realized.
9. The Director Cameo
You don't show your sense of humor in the run up to release as much as director David F. Sandberg has without allowing yourself to get in on the fun. And from our first viewing, and speaking with Sandberg on the set of the movie, it looks like he has multiple roles in the movie, whether they're credited or not. And slipping into one of the Crocodile Men suits is just the beginning.
We are almost certain that the voice of Marilyn's new boyfriend--the one rudely shouting at her during her entire conversation with Billy--is voiced by Sandberg himself. Which would make a lot of sense... more than the rumors that he also supplies the monotone robotic voice of Mr. Mind in the post-credits scene.
8. The Crocodile Men
When the kids are fleeing from Sivana and his Seven Sins by running through the halls of the Rock of Eternity, they come upon a sight guaranteed to delight ever fan of the comics: a collection of doors promising to open upon all manner of magical scenes. The first? The gloriously wondrous vision of a group of Crocodile Men sitting at a table, playing cards.
This is the payoff to the earlier crocodile tease with Billy's social worker, and one that could be a sign of much bigger things in a Shazam! sequel. In the simplest, modern version of the mythology, the Crocodile Men are... well, just intelligent crocodiles. Originally, they were villainous alien henchmen, so whichever origin fans prefer until proven otherwise.
7. Hints of The Monsterlands?
Fans will likely be so enamored with the Rock of Eternity after their first viewing, they won't feel a need to wonder if there are other doors, to other realms, where magic is allowed to shape reality in more ways than our own. But it's true: and the movie might actually give audiences their first glimpse of the nightmarish Monsterlands that contain enough evil to wipe out every peaceful people.
In the comics, humans reside in The Earthlands, just one of--you guessed it--seven different magical realms. The only one permanently closed off from the others is The Monsterlands. And while they've never been shown or explored in the comics, they would probably look something like the doorway opened by Mary: foggy, mysterious, and enticing... until it tries to kill you. Fingers crossed for the sequel.
- Shazam! (2019) release date: Apr 05, 2019
- Joker (2019) release date: Oct 04, 2019
- The Batman (2021) release date: Jun 25, 2021
- 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