While there are plenty of shared universes out there, DC's live-action world has had quite the journey. The studio has announced tons of projects, with a handful of blockbusters making it to theaters thus far. One of the next installments will be David F. Sandberg's Shazam!, bringing a youthful energy and naivety which will be in stark juxtaposition to Zack Snyder's first dark installments. There is also a movie planned for Black Adam, starring The Rock as Shazam's villain. So why didn't they just combine the projects? Hiram Garcia is a producer on both Shazam! and Black Adam, and explained why they needed their own space, saying:
So as we were developing an actual Black Adam and Shazam movie, we were just realizing that both characters are so special that we didn't want to compromise either of them by cramming them both into the same movie. So that's why we made the decision to let Shazam have his own standalone movie and kind of launch him properly, and then we'll do the same for Black Adam. And so that kind of really freed things up. It allowed us to develop the right version of both.
Rather than trying to squeeze in two very different characters in for one duel origin movie, the folks at DC decided to pump the breaks to better service its characters. Billy Batson/Shazam will arrive on the scene first, and a Black Adam movie is still in active development at the studio.
Hiram Garcia's comments to Collider seem to indicate that DC is changing its overall modus operandi when it comes to producing new live-action blockbusters. Because while the universe was built on ensemble projects like Suicide Squad and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, it's seemingly pivoting to smaller, more intimate stories. Just look at the next two releases. Both Shazam! And Aquaman are going back to basics, and focusing on one hero, rather than fitting in crossovers and universe building.
While Black Adam's release date is still a mystery, Shazam! is fast approaching its highly anticipated release. The blockbuster's first trailer was revealed during July's San Diego Comic-Con, and it showed the wholly unique and fun loving tone David F. Sandberg is going for with his DC flick. Shazam! will show what it's like being a kind in a superhero's world, and what happens when 14 year old Billy Batson is suddenly given a mass of powers almost akin to Superman's. He'll eventually come to blows with his own villain in Mark Strong's Dr. Thaddeus Sivana, and his superhero career will begin.
Shazam! will arrive in theaters on April 5, 2019. CinemaBlend will keep you updated on all things DC and Black Adam. In the meantime, check out our 2018 release list to plan your next trip to the movies.