DC Comics latest movie is Shazam!, the most lighthearted DC Cinematic Universe movie to be made so far. The film sees comedy actor Zachary Levi as the superhero avatar of a 15-year-old boy who is bestowed powers by a mysterious wizard. While the boy is played by Asher Angel, Levi will portray the grown-up version after he activates his powers. After being heavily criticized for their dark and dreary slate of movies thus far, DC Comics and Warner Bros. seem to be course correcting with an entirely different kind of superhero movie, one not as connected to the larger universe. This worked tremendously for them with Aquaman, and the studio is all set to repeat the same success with Shazam!
Shazam! is the story of how a young boy is chosen by mystical forces to wield power, power which can be activated when he speaks one word. This word transforms him into a magical being. The movie sees Angel’s Billy Batson as that young boy, who then has to figure out exactly what he is capable of — with the help of a friend, of course. The newest trailer released on Twitter by the movie’s official account continues to focus on the comedic elements of the movie, despite also featuring a menacing villain, one portrayed by Mark Strong.
Even though the latest trailer showcases more of the movie’s funny scenes, it may have benefited the movie for audiences to be treated to the heart and soul of the titular character by now. The original trailer — and subsequent promos — have focused on Levi’s comedic strengths, and have showcased the outrageously funny and slapstick elements of the movie. But as the release date nears, many are left wondering when they will be treated to the more serious side of this superhero story.
What is the joke/story percentage ratio for this movie? I don't remember the movie BIG with Tom Hanks having that many. You compared Shazam to BIG once. #AskSHAZAM— Josh (@jbyrd821) March 5, 2019
Shazam!, an original DC Comics character, originally had the name of Captain Marvel. However, after a contentious legal battle with Marvel Comics, DC’s Captain Marvel was retitled to Shazam! With Marvel Studios’ own live-action adaptation of Captain Marvel releasing soon, a fan smear-campaign began against the MCU movie, an issue which actor Zachary Levi had to directly address on social media.
Zachary Levi calls out the fake reviews and fabricated posts about Brie Larson, asks fans to stop pitting #CaptainMarvel and #Shazam against each other— Fandom (@getFANDOM) February 24, 2019
(via @ZacharyLevi | IG Live) pic.twitter.com/Xb8rD8POj6
While the video clearly shows Levi’s serious side, it’s a concern for some that Warner Bros. is reacting so strongly to criticism about their universe. Other fans accuse the film’s producers of going too far with the comedic elements of the story. With a single month left before the film’s release, audiences still have not been treated to hints regarding the primary plot points of Shazam! Despite these concerns, one celebrity definitely gives Shazam! his seal of approval, which is high praise for the film. Marshall Mathers — aka rapper Eminem — recently featured the film’s trailer on his Twitter account.
Shazam! releases on April 5.