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Once upon a time, the DC comics hero known as Shazam was actually called Captain Marvel. Due to a lot of legal wrangling that's no longer the case, but it seems that when the Shazam! movie debuts early next year it will deal with the former character identity in some way. Over the weekend at San Diego Comic-Con star Zachary Levi was asked about the Captain Marvel name and while he wouldn't divulge any details, he did confirm something will be said or done. According to Levi...
DC's Captain Marvel comics began way back in 1939 and when young boy Billy Batson said the word "Shazam" he transformed into the superhero Captain Marvel. While the character was, at one time, the most popular character in all of comics, Captain Marvel was the subject of lawsuits from the beginning, as the company that would become DC sued creator Fawcett Comics claiming that Captain Marvel infringed on their copyright of Superman. Fawcett would eventually settle out of court and cease production of Captain Marvel comics. Eventually, DC would actually license the character themselves, but since Marvel Comics had created their own Captain Marvel in the interim, DC could not use that name as the company would then find itself on the receiving end of another lawsuit.
While the character continued to be named Captain Marvel in the pages of the book, the comic itself would be titled Shazam. This continued until just a few years ago when a reboot within DC Comics would officially rename the character Shazam.
And, of course, all this is made all the more complicated by the fact that Marvel's Captain Marvel movie will be hitting theaters only about a month before DC's Shazam!
How the new Shazam! movie will make reference to the old name is anybody's guess, but Zachary Levi implies that it may be a punchline to a joke or something of the kind. Perhaps Billy Batson and his friend Freddy will be trying to come up with a name for the superhero that he now is, and will consider the Captain Marvel name, before discarding it as too ridiculous.
After now having seen the first trailer for Shazam! it seems clear that whatever the movie is going to do is going to be fun, as the humor shines through in what looks to be a really refreshing superhero movie. For more on Shazam!, check out everything we know about the movie so far. The movie will hit theaters next April.