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Why DC’s Shazam Director Will Be Able To Introduce The Hero To New Audiences

Shazam in animated form

Between the Marvel Cinematic Universe, DC Extended Universe, and the X-Men franchise, there is an abundance of comic book characters being regularly adapted for the silver screen. But now that most of the biggest and most iconic characters have already showed up in movies, both DC and Marvel are beginning to delve into the lesser known heroes to keep their shared universe fresh and constantly expanding. On the DC side of things, this includes the long brewing Shazam! movie, which will bring the hero of the same name to live-action for modern audiences. But since he's not quite as iconic as the DC trinity, it's certainly an uphill battle to get audiences invested in the character. Luckily, director David Sandberg gets this, and can empathize with not growing up loving Shazam. He recently said,

To be honest, it was not a superhero I grew up with either. When I grew up in Sweden, there wasn't a lot of Shazam around. So it's someone who I've learned to love later in life as well,so I can relate to [people who are] new to Shazam. I think [it] might be a good thing that I'm doing it, because I know what you need to learn.

This statement, which comes to us from ET, might actually prove why David Sandberg is such a good choice to bring the unconventional character to life on the big screen. He understands the trepidation of some audiences, and knows what plot points to hit to ensure those in the theater fall in love with Shazam.

For those who aren't as familiar with DC's long list of superhero properties, Shazam actually used to be named Captain Marvel. But Marvel's character of the same name resulted in a lawsuit, with DC conceding the title to its competitor and renaming him Shazam. Despite his appearance, the hero is actually a young boy named Billy Batson. When Billy exclaims the phrase "Shazam!", he temporarily transforms into the full grown her who has the powers of flight, super strength, near invulnerability, and magical lightning. He's got much of the strength of Superman, but with a more jovial and child-like wonder to world of superheroics.

Having the character of Billy Batson in the upcoming Shazam movie will no doubt help keep the film light, which seems to be the direction that the DCEU is going after Zack Snyder's first divisive films. Originally Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson was set to star as the villain Black Adam, but it now appears that he'll make his debut as the character in his own solo film. Director David Sandberg is just coming off of the release of his horror flick Annabelle: Creation, which is already being more critically acclaimed than its predecessor.

Shazam! doesn't currently have a release date, but you can see Annabelle: Creation on August 11, 2017. In the meantime, check out our 2017 release list to plan your next trip to the movies.

Corey Chichizola

Corey was born and raised in New Jersey. Double majored in theater and literature during undergrad. After working in administrative theater for a year in New York, he started as the Weekend Editor at CinemaBend. He's since been able to work himself up to reviews, phoners, and press junkets-- and is now able to appear on camera with some of his famous actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid.