As the DC Movie Universe (DCMU) attempts to build itself up to the heights of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (or beyond), there are several notable differences in approach that have fans of either camp (or of both camps) looking on with interest. Whether it's pairing big-name heroes together right out of the gate (Batman V Superman); jumping into massive team-ups earlier (Justice League) or giving villains their own film to play in (Suicide Squad), DC/WB is taken the unbeaten path to shared universe success.
Another element that's been a big variable in the DCMU is magic and mythology - a nut not even Marvel has fully cracked. We know that the magical side of the universe will be getting big focus in Guillermo del Toro's Justice League Dark, but there's another character who actually straddles the line between the supernatural forces of JLD, and the superheroics of the traditional Justice League: Shazam.
When the full DC superhero movie lineup was first announced, the Shazam movie was not surprisingly on the roster (it had been rumored for some time). However, what WAS surprising was an announcement from studio executives that Shazam was NOT going to be connected to the same shared universe as Justice League. That statement was later reversed, and now it appears that not only will Shazam be part of the DC Movie Universe - he could be part of it sooner than expected.
Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson stars as the villain of the film, Shazam's ancient nemesis, Black Adam, and according to the wrestler-turned-movie-star, things are progressing so well on Shazam that the film could be released sooner than expected:
Of course, "progress" is a relative term when there has only been one major casting decision, and a director has yet to be found; but we already provided the reasons why Shazam can be a great DC superhero movie, and the logic runs deeper than just entertaining the fanbase.
A Shazam movie could blow the idea of magic and mythology wide open in DCMU; it has room to be its own (relatively) standalone story (something that worked for Marvel films like Captain America and Guardians of the Galaxy); not to mention, the nature of the hero and his powers (a little boy uses a magic word and transforms into a superman) makes this property, in particular, a marketing and merchandising cash cow for the family demographic.
It's no wonder that with darker material like Suicide Squad or even big tentpoles like Justice League sporting heavy PG-13 ratings, DC/WB would want to secure that lighter, more whimsical superhero movie niche.
Previously Shazam was slated for release on April 5, 2019; we'll now have to wait and see what the new production start - and subsequent new release date - would be.
Header/Featured Image by Daniel Murray @ DeviantART