Shazam! Trailer Breakdown: The New 52 Origin Story Brought To Life

Shazam Dance Lightning Emblem

The trailer for David F. Sandberg's Shazam! movie is here, and it looks like the superhero's first big-screen outing will be almost a scene-for-scene recreation of his recently revamped New 52 origin story. Asher Angel plays Billy Batson, a foster kid with a troubled past, who is summoned by a powerful wizard and granted the ability to transform into an adult superhero called Shazam (played by Zachary Levi).

In a departure from the tone of many recent DC movies, Shazam! is filled with comedy and the natural joy of a kid suddenly being given the power to become a superhero. Billy's friend and confidant, Freddy Freeman (Jack Dylan Grazer), helps him experiment with his newfound abilities and use them for the usual superhero antics, like saving a convenience store from a robbery, but the fun is interrupted by the arrival of the villainous Dr. Sivana (Mark Strong) - who is strong enough to pose a threat to the bulletproof superhero. Let's break down the trailer scene by scene, and compare it to the New 52 comic story.

Billy Batson is Trouble

In the original Captain Marvel comics, Billy Batson was chosen to become a superhero because he was pure of heart. In the New 52 reboot... not so much. Billy is a rude, arrogant troublemaker who mocks his new foster parents behind their backs and makes one of his new foster siblings cry almost immediately upon moving in. We see glimpses of this in the trailer, as Billy insists that he's fine by himself and doesn't need a family, while his exasperated social worker tells him to at least give his new foster parents, the Vasquezes, a chance.

Billy Beats Up Bullies

Shazam Trailer - Billy Beats Up Bullies

Billy might not be pure of heart, but there are the makings of a superhero inside him. When the school bullies pick on Freddy, Billy intervenes and beats them up, landing himself in trouble. Afterwards Billy, who is still trying to distance himself from Freddy and the others, insists that it wasn't a big deal, saying, "I just don't like bullies." However, it's sparks of goodness like this that ultimately convince the original wizard Shazam to choose Billy as his successor, after dismissing dozens of previous candidates as being unworthy.

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The Train of Destiny

Shazam Trailer - Magic Train

The next scene from the comics that's recreated almost exactly in the Shazam! trailer is Billy running away from the Bryer brothers, the bullies that he beat up earlier, and escaping them by jumping onto a train. That train then magically transports him to the castle of the wizard Shazam (played by Djimon Hounsou), who is dismayed to see that his magic has brought him "a child, and a rotten one at that." However, upon peering into Billy's soul, the wizard decides that the rotten child is probably his best bet - especially since time is running out.

Say the Magic Word

Shazam Trailer - Wizard

As you might expect, a kid like Billy is a little cynical about being transported on a magic train to a wizard's castle and being told to say a magic word, and in both the comic and the trailer he is unimpressed to learn that the wizard's name is Shazam. However, the wizard is very grumpy and holding a big stick, so Billy obliges - yelling the magic word and transforming into a 6'3" superhero. With a cape.

Freddy Meets Shazam

Shazam Trailer - Shazam and Freddy

The first person that Billy rushes to tell after returning home is his new foster brother, Freddy, who is terrified by the big man in the red suit, who in the comic picks him up by his collar to stop him from running and, in the trailer, appears outside the Vasquez's kitchen window holding up a sign that says "Don't Scream!!" Needless to say, Freddy screams.

Page 2: Billy Tries Out His Superpowers and Meets Dr. Sivana

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Key Release Dates
  • Aquaman (2018) release date: Dec 21, 2018
  • Shazam! (2019) release date: Apr 05, 2019
  • Wonder Woman 1984 (2020) release date: Jun 05, 2020
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