Newly announced merchandise may have revealed that saving the world will be a family affair in Shazam! Starring Zachary Levi (The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel) in the titular role, the film will be DC's first release of 2019. Following on from the huge success of Aquaman, it will also be the latest attempt by DC and Warner Bros. to shift the overall tone and direction of the DCEU.
Shazam! will tell the story of Billy Batson (Asher Angel), a young orphan and frequent runaway who, after a fateful encounter with The Wizard (Djimon Hounsou), finds himself imbued with the ability to transform into a full-grown superhero. As evidenced by the well-received trailer, the film will feature Billy and his foster-brother Freddy Freeman (Jack Dylan Grazer) having fun with the new world of opportunities being a superhero offers. Ultimately, however, they will cross paths with Doctor Thaddeus Sivana and, presumably, be tasked with saving the world. He may not be the only villain in the film, with recent rumors suggesting Billy will battle the Seven Deadly Sins, a race of demons (Pride, Envy, Greed, Wrath, Sloth, Gluttony, and Lust) once trapped by The Wizard. The combined threat may ultimately prove too much. With various actors spotted around the set, it's been equally speculated that Billy may summon back-up of his own.
Based on some newly announced merchandise (as reported by Comic Book), that rumor may have been confirmed. The cover of a 32-page activity pad being released as a movie tie-in clearly features more than one superhero. Although the images emblazoned on the cover are small, the costumes (and gender of the characters) are distinctly different. Moreover, they are clear matches to the Shazam Family of the comics.
The child versions of these characters are already confirmed to be in the film, as part of the foster family Billy finds himself taken in by. Those roles will be filled by Grace Fulton, Ian Chen, Jovan Armand, Faithe Herman. They will play Mary Bromfield, Eugene Choi, Pedro Peña, and Darla Dudley, respectively. As such, it will certainly promise a broad and diverse team of heroes. Their foster parents will be played by Marta Milans and Cooper Andrews (The Walking Dead), though they will most likely remain in the dark as to their children's superhero adventures.
Although DC have fallen somewhat behind Marvel in terms of box office success and acclaim, they continue to remain a step ahead in what they offer. They, of course, beat Marvel to the punch in bringing a female-led superhero film to the big screen in Wonder Woman. They were also the first to venture beneath the sea with Aquaman. And now it could potentially be the first collective superhero universe to include an actual superhero family. Although Marvel Studios will reclaim the rights to the Fantastic Four in 2019, Shazam! will have long been released by the time they actually make it to theaters.
Though most films would wait until the inevitable sequel to expand their roster of heroes, it would make thematic sense for Billy to share his powers in Shazam! Billy Batson, after all, is defined (at first) by his inability to trust and stick around. The trailer alone reveals that he has run away from six families over the years. By turning to his latest family for help, entrusting both his secret and his powers to them, it would not only add to the similarities it shares with Big but would make for a fitting culmination to his arc across the film. The Shazam! trailer already emphasized the friendship between Billy and Freddy. But, by expanding that to the rest of his foster siblings, it would truly help solidify the bond Billy has with this new family and finally allow him to truly feel that he belongs.
Source: Comic Book
- Shazam! (2019) release date: Apr 05, 2019
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