New Line Cinema has finally unveiled Zachary Levi as the newest DCEU superhero with the first official Shazam! image.
Shazam tells the story of a 14-year-old boy named Billy Batson who, when he shouts the word “SHAZAM!” can turn into an adult superhero. In the movie Billy is sent to a new foster home where he befriends a comic book super-fan Freddy.
Billy while on the subway is interrupted by a mysterious Wizard whose been searching for ages to find the right successor to inherit his powers. He reveals that Billy has been selected to gain an assortment of abilities, and all he has to say is “SHAZAM!”
Director David Sandberg says he took elements from throughout the character’s appearances in comics and animated shows. Telling Entertainment Weekly.
“I wanted to keep the shorter cape as a throwback to the original because that’s something that sets him apart from Superman or Batman. It makes him feel a bit more Golden Age superhero, which is the vibe I’m going for.”
Artist C. C. Beck and writer Bill Parker created the character of Captain Marvel in 1939. First appearing in Whiz Comics #2, published in late 1939 by Fawcett Comics, but cover is dated February of 1940.
If you’re wondering why I just wrote Captain Marvel instead of Shazam, there’s a reason.
The character of Shazam! was originally created as Captain Marvel. Marvel’s Captain Marvel was created by the great Stan Lee and first appeared in the December 1967 issue, Marvel Super-Heroes #12.
Based on comic book sales alone the character was the most popular superhero of the 1940’s even outselling Superman himself. Fawcett Comics stopped publishing Captain Marvel comics in 1953. A copyright infringement suit from DC Comics, claiming that Captain Marvel was a rip-off of Superman was a big reason for shutting down.
In 1972 DC Comics obtained the license for Captain Marvel and returned him to publication. Upon his return DC branded and marketed the character as Shazam! due to a trademark conflict over another character named “Captain Marvel” owned by Marvel Comics.
Cast: Zachary Levi, Asher Angel, Jack Dylan Grazer, Grace Fulton, Faithe Herman, Ian Chen, Jovan Armand, Cooper Andrews, Marta Milans, Ron Cephas Jones
Shazam! opens in theaters on April 5, 2019