Hot on the heels of the official Shazam! trailer dropping last week at San Diego Comic-Con 2018, a retro mashup trailer has hit the internet paying homage to the 1970s TV show of the same name. Next April’s Shazam! movie follows the same basic storyline of the TV show and the comics that came before it, with an orphaned boy, Billy Batson, being given the ability to transform into an adult superhero by saying a magic word.
In a bit of a shift, however, Shazam! will also follow Billy as he attempts to find his surviving family members. Asher Angel, a relative newcomer who has a role on the Disney Channel show Andi Mack, will play the role of Billy Batson, while former Chuck star Zachary Levi will play his counterpart adult superhero Shazam. Notable among the rest of the cast are Mark Strong as the evil Dr. Thaddeus Sivana and Djimon Hounsou as the wizard who grants Billy his powers.
The retro trailer comes courtesy of Darth Blender, a YouTube channel devoted to creating mashups for TV, comics, and movies in the pop culture realm. In the trailer, Darth Blender combines audio from the official SDCC trailer with video footage from the Shazam! TV series that ran from 1974-1977. While the actors’ mouths in the video don’t exactly match up with the audio rolling behind them, Darth Blender has selected scenes from the show that accurately reflect a version of what’s being described.
In the 1970s TV series, Billy Batson, played by Michael Gray, transforms into the superhero Captain Marvel, played by Jackson Bostwick, to travel the country and help people beset by evil forces. In the film coming out next year, there will be no mention of Captain Marvel due to legal issues with Marvel Comics, who trademarked the name Captain Marvel for their superhero in the time in which DC wasn't running Captain Marvel comics. The character and magic word that brings him out, Shazam, will instead be one and the same. Shazam, which is an acronym for the six "immortal elders" (Solomon, Hercules, Atlas, Zeus, Achilles, and Mercury), boasts superhuman strength and speed, among other abilities.
As DC and Warner Bros. Pictures continue to reframe their universe following the positive reception of films like Wonder Woman over the somewhat disappointing returns from films like Justice League, it makes complete sense that they’d pivot to a character who’s been referred to as the crazy or goofy version of Superman. It remains to be seen if Shazam! can match the enthusiasm and campiness of this retro trailer.
Source: Darth Blender
- Shazam! (2019) release date: Apr 05, 2019
- Aquaman (2018) release date: Dec 21, 2018
- Joker (2019) release date: Oct 04, 2019
- Wonder Woman 1984 (2020) release date: Jun 05, 2020