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Shazam! Movie Preview: New Footage Descriptions & Story Reveals

Warning: This article contains SPOILERS for Shazam. Seriously.

DC's Shazam! is almost out in theaters and, surprisingly, not too much has been shown from the movie yet. Previously, WB skewed the line of putting out too many trailers for their DC movies, even spoiling some of them, but now, with Aquaman and Shazam!, they've taken a different approach. As a result, there's quite a bit that comic book fans and general audiences aren't aware of, besides the fact that it'll be a fun adventure story.

Starring Asher Angel as Billy Batson and Zachary Levi as the superhero Shazam, this year's Shazam! movie is perhaps one of the most unique comic book movies to release in recent years. And in order to promote the latest superhero movie from WB, the studio invited Screen Rant as well as other entertainment outlets to their lot in Burbank to show off approximately 15-20 minutes of footage, which concluded with a brief roundtable interview with director David F. Sandberg and producer Peter Safran.

Related: How Aquaman Corrected The DCEU's Marketing Mistakes

What was shown to us was mostly extended sequences of scenes from the Shazam! trailer and promo. However, these sequences were abridged versions of the ones that will appear in the final cut (in addition to having temporary VFX and music), as Sandberg, Safran, and WB wanted to provide the press with a preview that would give an honest look at the film and its tone - which it did.

Billy Batson At School & Saving Freddy Freeman

Our Shazam! preview began with the children crossing the sidewalk and going into school. This was the first time we see Billy with some of his other foster siblings, aside from Freddy Freeman, that is. (Interestingly, we were told that Jack Dylan Grazer's Freddy has the most screen-time in the movie thanks to him working alongside both Angel's Billy and Levi's Shazam.) From there, the shot cuts to Billy in the school cafeteria, at which point Freddy joins him and immediately asks what superpower he would want - specifically, flight or invisibility. As seen in the trailer, Billy makes a joke about flying away from the conversation, gets up, and leaves.

Freddy follows him and talks about why people choose invisibility, which he connects to Billy wanting to be invisible; Billy apparently gathered up a go-bag filled with food and drinks, as well as Freddy's Superman bullet (though Billy says he didn't take that), and was planning to leave them. At the end of the school day, Billy and Freddy go outside and meet the other foster children, including Grace Fulton's Mary. And, as shown in the trailers, two kids start bullying Freddy. Although Billy started to walk away at first, he ultimately steps in and hits the kids... then he runs away.

Shazam & Black Adam's Origin At Rock Of Eternity

After escaping the boys who were bullying Freddy at the school, Billy boards a train that is then intercepted by the Wizard Shazam. The abridged version we saw plays out about the same as the scene shown in the trailers, though we do see the other passengers dissipate into dust. After disembarking the train, Billy is greeted by the Wizard Shazam inside the Rock of Eternity (the source of all magic), who is now being played by Djimon Hounsou. (Ron Cephas Jones was originally reported to be playing the wizard, but a scheduling conflict prevented him from taking the role.)

What follows next is exposition that may go over general audiences' heads but will surely be appreciated by comic book fans. The Wizard explains to Billy that he's the last wizard alive from the now destroyed Council of Eternity. He says that a long time ago they chose the wrong champion, who presumably led to their downfall. Rather than just tell the story, the Wizard permeates the room with magic, like a hologram, and shows the former champion over what appears to be Egypt. This is, of course, a reference to Black Adam - a role Dwayne Johnson has been attached to since 2014.

Related: How Shazam! Connects To The DCEU Movies So Far

When asked about this scene and, particularly, Black Adam, Sandberg and Safran were reluctant to confirm that he was the champion the Wizard was talking about, or that we actually see an outline of him in the scene, but did they cheekily say, "you can read it that way if you choose to." The Wizard spent centuries searching for another champion, which ultimately leads him to Billy Batson. Upon saying the Wizard's name, Billy transforms into the superhero Shazam, with the Wizard then reciting the origin of his powers - lightning, flight, and wisdom, as well as superhuman speed and strength, among other things. These powers come from Solomon, Hercules, Atlas, Zeus, Achilles, and Mercury.

This is the first time that we see Levi's Shazam, and it's clear from the get-go why he was chosen for this role. From then on, we didn't see other scenes of Angel's Billy. Instead, the rest of the footage focused on Levi's Shazam learning what powers he had and how to control them.

Page 2 of 2: Shazam's Powers, Store Robbery, & Sizzle Reel

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Key Release Dates
  • 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
  • The Batman (2021) release date: Jun 25, 2021
  • The Suicide Squad (2021) release date: Aug 06, 2021
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