Henry Cavill's Superman contract issues may mean he won't be making a previously expected cameo in Shazam!, so Gal Gadot's Wonder Woman should fill the gap. A recent report claimed that Cavill and the DCEU were parting ways, with his planned appearance in Shazam! having been canned as a result. Despite the Englishman's agent assuring fans that he's still Supes, for the time being, the cameo is now assumed to be off the table as negotiations between the actor and WB continue.
Though this is a disappointment for many as seeing Shazam and Superman meet is a delightful prospect, even if the cameo was to be a quick pre-credits tease - according to a report after Cavill's departure, the scene would be a stinger at the end where Superman meets Shazam's younger form, Billy, saying he'll keep an eye on the kid - it does create an opening for another pillar of the DC cinematic universe to step in: Wonder Woman.
Since her debut in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, the Amazon princess has become the de facto leader of the whole enterprise. Somehow, with all the behind-the-scenes drama and contentious story-telling, the DCEU managed to stick the landing on Wonder Woman's leap to the big screen. Her solo picture is, to date, the most positively received installment of the franchise, and coming into last year's Justice League, Gadot's presence was one of the few genuine selling points. She's the fan-appointed face of the DCEU, the one audiences have unanimously latched onto. And DC and Warner Bros. know it, green-lighting her sequel so quickly. As such, she's the perfect ambassador to welcome the universe's youngest hero.
Shazam! is very different look to the movies in the franchise so far. While it's full of references to Man of Steel and Batman v Superman, it's focused on the young Billy Batson, giving it a tone that's a little campier and light-hearted. Aside from being a break from the norm tonally, Shazam himself is a much lesser-known quantity to your average film-goer. DC's movies since Man of Steel have all relied on characters that are already soaked into the wider pop culture – this is the first where the hero's starting fresh with almost its entire audience.
Shazam's lack of pop-culture exposure is why a scene like the planned meeting between the namesake protagonist and Clark Kent is a good idea. It reminds audiences of the grander narrative. This is still a cinematic universe, despite the bumps, and Shazam's role is just beginning. If the Last Son of Krypton can't fill that role, the heir to the throne of Themyscira is the next best choice. Her reminding Shazam that he's in a different world now and that Billy Batson's beloved Justice League are keeping an eye on him works in an older sibling both-threatening-and-comforting sort of way.
Gal Gadot is almost certainly available - Wonder Woman 1984 is still filming, with a release date of November next year. Flash's Suicide Squad cameo was directed by Zack Snyder on the Justice League set, so it could just be a matter of Asher Angel paying Gal Gadot and Patty Jenkins a brief visit on the set of Wonder Woman 1984 to get the scene shot.
Billy Batson idolizes the Justice League, and in Shazam! we're going to watch him learn the meaning of existing on their level; the responsibility and turmoil that comes with being a superhero. Diana Prince has been the DCEU's platonic ideal of heroism. She's brave and fearless and, despite tragedy and difficulty, learns to pick herself back up when she's needed. And she's had shoulder the entire franchise while everything else around her fell apart in one way or another. Billy should get to meet one of his idols, and there's really only one hero for it.
- Shazam! (2019) release date: Apr 05, 2019
- Wonder Woman 1984 (2020) release date: Jun 05, 2020
- Aquaman (2018) release date: Dec 21, 2018
- Joker (2019) release date: Oct 04, 2019