How Shazam Is Referencing The Rest Of The DCEU

Shazam in the comics

Superhero movies are everywhere. With three shared universes currently competing for box office supremacy, there is a new comic book adaptation every few months. While the MCU is a well oiled machine, cinephiles have been eagerly watching as the DC Extended Universe continues to take shape. Still very much in its infancy, DC announced projects, many of which have no concrete release date. But one movie that seems to be moving forward is David F. Sandberg's Shazam! Details about the upcoming flick have been slowly trickling out, and now we have some idea as to how the greater DCEU will be referenced in the film: toys

A new report from the set of Shazam! indicated that a big action sequence takes place within a toy store. Given that the film's protagonist is the young Billy Batson (Asher Angel), this makes a great deal of sense, and will likely add moments of comedy when he suddenly transforms into a full grown superhero. The photos snapped reveal stuffed toy version of DC characters like Batman, Wonder Woman, Harley Quinn, and Superman. It looks like kids in the shared universe truly idolize the heroes and villains we've followed in the DCEU's first few movies.

Since events like Superman's death and the attack of Metropolis are constantly referenced in the DC Extended Universe, it makes sense that they'd also resonate with kids of the world. Kids in the real world idolize Batman, and the dude isn't even real. Having a toy store complete with superhero merch is a great way of expanding the scope of the DCEU, while also adding proper fan service and inside jokes to Shazam!

This type of nod to the popularity of heroes is something that the Marvel Cinematic Universe has done a few times as well. Iron Man 2 featured a kid dressed up as Iron Man-- a kid who was retconned to be Tom Holland's Peter Parker. Spider-Man: Homecoming also featured thieves wearing cheap masks of Avengers members like Thor and The Hulk, further showing the affect of the shared universe on average folks.

While the DC Extended Universe's future is very much up in the air, there are a few movies that fans can fully expect to arrive in theaters. The first will be James Wan's Aquaman, following up on Jason Momoa's Arthur Curry after his adventure in Justice League. Shazam! and Wonder Woman 2 will follow in 2019, with filming for the former currently in full swing. David F. Sandberg has assembled a fantastic cast for the project, and it should fascinating to see how the lighter and childlike wonder of the hero is translated onto the silver screen.

Shazam! will arrive in theaters on April 5, 2019. In the meantime, check out our 2018 release list to plan your next trip to the movies.

Corey Chichizola
Movies Editor

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 CinemaBlend. 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 favorite actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid.