Shazam has some major twists that have big implications for the future of the DCEU in the best ways possible. (SPOILERS)
DC’s latest superhero adventure Shazam is currently in theaters, and the end of the film does a few major things that could expand the DC cinematic universe. It also contains some of the best Easter Eggs for any long term DC film fans. We’re gonna take a look at the end of the film and discuss what it could mean moving forward. Be warned, we get into some MAJOR SPOILERS.
Shazam mostly follows the New 52 storyline for Billy Batson (Asher Angel), with him being a foster kid that goes to live with Rosa and Victor Vázquezes (Marta Milans and Cooper Andrews) and their five foster children, Freddy Freeman (Jack Dylan Grazer), Mary Bromfield (Grace Fulton), Eugene Choi (Ian Chen), Pedro Peña (Jovan Armand), and Darla Dudley (Faithe Herman). Just as they do in the comics, Billy’s foster siblings say the name Shazam and are able to gain the powers of the Gods. The Shazam versions of the siblings also grow to become older versions of themselves, just as Billy did. Freddy is played by Adam Brody, Pedro is D.J. Cotrona, Eugene is Ross Butler, Mary is Michelle Borth, and Darla is Meagan Good.
The best part of the casting of the Shazam versions of the characters has to be Adam Brody and D.J. Cotrona, who were each previously attached to the failed Justice League: Mortal film. That film went into production around 2007 and was scrapped when pre-production was pushed due to the Writer’s strike and issues with tax breaks while trying to film in Australia. George Miller, the director behind Mad Max, was set to helm the film with Brody playing The Flash and Cotrona playing Superman. The film would have begun a series separate from the Dark Knight or Superman Returns, but after the issues with Justice League: Mortal and the success of Dark Knight, Warner Brothers scrapped the film altogether.
The inclusion of the Shazam Family gives Warner Brothers the opportunity to expand greatly. In the comics, Mary and Freddy have always been established characters, with Mary at one time being Billy’s long lost twin sister and taking on the powers of Shazam as Mary Marvel. Freddy was originally a friend and classmate of Billy’s who became Captain Marvel Jr. The Marvel names coming from the original name of the hero Billy turned into when he gained his powers, Captain Marvel. Either of those characters or the Shazam family as a whole could get a spinoff movie in time if fans are interested enough. If Shazam ends up being as big of a success as Aquaman or Wonder Woman, it wouldn’t be surprising to see a whole Shazam Cinematic Universe within the greater DCEU.
One other note to touch on with the end of the film is the Superman cameo in the last shot of the film. It was rumored that Superman would have some sort of cameo in the film last year, but the details were unclear. Warner Brothers wanted Henry Cavill to appear as the character, but given that Cavill is currently working on the Witcher series for Netflix, he was hesitant to take part in the cameo. If he had, it likely would have meant Cavill needing to shave or his face to be digitally altered just as it was in Justice League. Considering the situation there, it’s understandable why Cavill was hesitant about the situation. There’s also word that his cameo would have been included in his pay for his overall contract deal or wouldn’t have been paid at all.
Overall, it seems as if the whole situation would have just been difficult for Cavill, and he was better off not being part of it. The film and the scene in question honestly work better without seeing Cavill. By focusing on Freddy’s reaction to seeing his biggest hero there to have lunch with him, the scene makes a great final moment in a film that is not only hilarious but about family and the love we have for superheroes. By not showing Superman’s face, he’s still just a figure right outside of what we see in the film, which is exactly where the film succeeds in using the greater DC universe. We know the DC heroes are there, but we don’t see them, and it creates a better narrative for a film that is connected to a larger world but can still stand on its own.
Shazam is currently playing in theaters. Check out the links below for all of our previous Shazam coverage.