Yesterday, Warner Bros. stuck their toe in the water and released the official logo of the upcoming film Shazam!. Today, star Zachary Levi upped the ante and posted a selfie next to a promotional image of him dressed as the titular character. By the looks of the image, Warner Bros. won’t be plummeting into the infinite depths of human catharsis for this one. Instead, this seems to imply the upcoming film adaptation will do the character right by making it a lighthearted affair.
Shazam! tells the story of Billy Batson (played in the film by Asher Angel), a 14-year-old kid who, thanks to an ancient wizard, can turn into the eponymous hero by shouting his name. No word yet if the DCEU is planning on retconning his origin so as to name his mother Martha.
DC has had a Shazam! movie in development in some form or another since the early 2000s, and at one point had Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson slated to play big bad Black Adam. The more ‘serious’ approach to the character was eventually abandoned by the studios who, in their infinite wisdom, thought Shazam! was too close to the character of Superman. So they went and let Zack Snyder make Man of Steel instead.
Now that DCEU has remained in a distant second from their rival Marvel in terms of cinematic universes, they seem to have learned that an overly dour approach coupled with a remedial understanding of existential theory wasn’t the best way to launch a multi-film franchise. We’ll see how Shazam! tells its story when it hits theaters April 5, 2019.