Next year sees the big screen debut of an entirely different kind of superhero than what we've seen before with DC's Shazam! The film from director David F. Sandberg and starring Zachary Levi tells the story of the young Billy Batson, who is granted magical powers by a wizard that transform him into a fully-grown superhero. Every kid (and adult) wishes that they had superpowers, and Billy Batson actually gets them. So it seems fitting that as Shazam! finishes production, Zachary Levi celebrated by granting wishes for some real life kids by donating toys from the film. Take a look:
A magical guy in a red and white suit, with childlike whimsy and a twinkle in his eye: if it wasn't for the babyface and the distinct lack of reindeer you might mistake Zachary Levi and Shazam for Santa Claus. This is profoundly cool of them to do, and while a truck full of toys may not have cost much relative to a multi-million dollar tentpole superhero film, you can't put a price on what great toys will mean to kids that don't have any. It's awesome that all those dolls, action figures, LEGO sets and stuffed animals will be going to non-profits in the Toronto area where Shazam! was filmed, thereby giving back to the community that facilitated the production and getting the toys to kids who can really benefit from them.
This gesture also just feels especially appropriate with Shazam!, given that the hero of the story is actually a kid. It goes to show how cool Zachary Levi is, after a production that had leaked set photos result in an uproar over his fitness and the Shazam suit-- two issues that he has since put to bed. As Zachary Levi says in this Instagram post, Shazam! actually shot inside a toy store, and I imagine that the toys were carefully curated for the scene. The toys will all be in the background, but the interesting wrinkle this video raises is do Batman, Cyborg and the Flash toys exist in Shazam!? Or more likely, I'm just being nitpicky and the DC toys were shown for some brand awareness, and don't actually break the fourth wall in the movie.
In addition to this sweet and generous gesture from Zachary Levi and the Shazam! production, the film wrapping also promises future presents for DC fans as well. Now that principal photography is in the can, hopefully it won't be too long before we get some official stills and possibly a teaser trailer. All we have to this point is a logo poster. Fans were supposed to get a look at the costume a while ago, but that never happened. Shazam! promises to bring something completely different to the DCEU with a light-hearted hero and a major magical element that is quite unlike anything else in the DC or the Marvel universes, so I am personally very eager to get a first glance.