We haven't gotten a Shazam or Billy Batson movie in this new amalgamation of DC films, which means there's quite a bit of room to play with the character and tinker with his personality. Many fans have wondered how Annabelle: Creation director David F. Sandberg would handle the depiction of the young Batson in the upcoming Shazam movie for that very reason, and it seems that the director has taken notice of our curiosity. In fact, responding to a fan question about Billy's personality in the film, Sandberg made sure to note that he won't be absolutely awful like he was in the recent New 52 run of comics. Sandberg wrote:
The DCEU has taken quite a bit of inspiration from the recent New 52 line of DC Comics. That run has some great character moments that are worthy of adaptation, but Billy Batson is known as one character who developed some unfortunate traits during that era. Depicted as a troubled youth in the foster care system, this round of comics is a far cry from the more traditional version of Billy that has characterized the DC hero for years. David F. Sandberg appears to have put specific fan fears to bed by confirming that his Billy won't be that "huge dickhead" that many fans didn't like in the New 52 era.
Based off of David F. Sandberg's response to those fan concerns, it seems reasonable to assume that the version of Billy Batson seen in the 2019 Shazam movie will showcase more of the happy-go-lucky and fun sensibilities that have characterized his personality for decades. At his core, the lightning-powered hero is quite literally a young boy (Asher Angel's Billy) trapped inside the body of a powerful man (portrayed by Zachary Levi), which naturally lends itself to some great comedic moments, instead of the doom and gloom that has characterized many of the recent big screen DCEU adventures.
Looking at David F. Sandberg specifically as a director, there's quite a bit to get excited about when it comes to his ability to help Asher Angel bring the character to life. To date, Sandberg's two most prominent film credits are Lights Out and Annabelle: Creation -- two films that focus on child protagonists. These young heroes show a remarkable maturity that's not often seen in horror movie kids, which arguably lends credence to the idea that Sandberg knows how to cast and direct children in a way that makes him ideally-suited to create a likable version of Billy.
David F. Sandberg's Shazam is reportedly aiming to begin production in February 2018 and debut in theaters in April 2019. As for current DCEU adventures, Justice League is still in theaters, so make sure to read our in-depth review of the film and check out the first-ever team-up of the other DC heroes!
Originally from Connecticut, Conner grew up in San Diego and graduated from Chapman University in 2014. He now lives in Los Angeles working in and around the entertainment industry and can mostly be found binging horror movies and chugging coffee.
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