Things are about to get very exciting around here for superhero movie fans. Marvel Studios has Captain Marvel swooping into theaters, and the MCU is building towards Avengers: Endgame. And sandwiched between them, the DCEU is going to introduce a new cinematic superhero in the form of Shazam (Zachary Levi). A teenager in a superhero’s body, Shazam is granted his powers by a wizard, and in this anticipated trailer, we see a lot more of Shazam’s powers on display. Check it out:
The fun part about Shazam!, as directed by David Sandberg, is that the hero and his sidekick, Freddy Freeman (Jack Dylan Grazer), are learning about his powers at the same time that we are. So they run through a series of tests that they video – likely for YouTube – and the hero improves as he goes.
Or, he doesn’t. And skyscrapers in his city suffer as a result.
The new Shazam! trailer also leans heavily into the presence of Dr. Sivana (Mark Strong), a nefarious villain with sinister plans who will confront Shazam at every turn. The kid doesn’t even know how to be a superhero yet, and already, he has a nemesis. Sivana has been one of Shazam’s longest-running adversaries in his comics, so introducing him in the hero’s origin story makes all the sense in the world.
Shazam! also looks to continue DC and Warner Bros’ new strategy of telling individual stories for its heroes that are lightly connected, but not forcing a shared universe. James Wan told an Aquaman story that referenced Steppenwolf but didn’t need to shoehorn in Batman (Ben Affleck) or Superman (Henry Cavill). Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) is off on her own adventures in her solo movies. And now Zachary Levi gets the chance to establish his own presence in a separate universe that still references the Caped Crusader and the Man of Steel, without needing to necessarily include them.