Shazam's Director Explains How The Comics Influenced The Hero's Costume

Captain Marvel Shazam costume

With some exceptions, usually you can count on a superhero's costume in movies to at least resemble the duds they wear in the comics, and then there instances where the outfits look like they've been ripped directly from the printed page, like with Deadpool and Iron Man. In the case of Shazam!, from what we've seen in photos so far, the World's Mightiest Mortal's costume looks like a blend of his classic look and his New 52 look. Regarding the former, director David F. Sandberg felt it was necessary to honor the character's Golden Age roots, hence why Shazam's movie costume retains the short cape. Sandberg explained:

I wanted to keep the shorter cape as a throwback to the original because that's something that sets him apart from Superman or Batman. It makes him feel a bit more Golden Age superhero, which is the vibe I'm going for.

Along with providing the first official Shazam! photo, which shows Zachary Levi's Shazam and Jack Dylan Grazer's Freddy enjoying some soda outside a convenience store, EW spoke with David F. Sandberg about the Shazam costume, namely with how he wanted the cape to harken back to arguably the characters' heyday in the 1940s. The superhero previously known as Captain Marvel has been a major player in the DC Comics universe since the 1970s, but back when he was still being published by Fawcett Comics, he was one of the most popular superheroes ever, even outselling Superman at one point. Those days are long past, but they're still historically important, which is why Sandberg made sure that the Shazam costume in his movie partly reflected the Golden Age era. That being said, Shazam's costume also blended elements from other periods in the character's existence, such as the hood from his New 52 reintroduction and the gold gauntlets from one of his animated movie appearances.

Just like the empowered Billy Batson's costume, Shazam! itself has numerous sources of inspiration. As David F. Sandberg noted, the movie is striking a Golden Age-kind of tone, but the plot itself is taking its cues from Shazam's New 52 origin story, such as being set during Christmastime and Billy Batson living with a foster family. But the basic premise will be the same that it's always been: the adolescent Billy Batson is selected by the mysterious Wizard (who also goes by Shazam) to inherit his amazing abilities. Upon saying the word "Shazam!", Billy is transformed into a superpowered adult, and in the movie, he's soon forced to use these powers for the greater good by battling the sinister Doctor Thaddeus Sivana.

Shazam! bolts into theaters on April 5, 2019, so keep checking back with CinemaBlend for more updates on the movie. For now, you can look through our DC movies guide to learn what other projects are in development for the DC Extended Universe, or you can find out what's hitting the silver screen later this year in our 2018 release schedule.

Adam Holmes
Senior Content Producer

Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.