The DC live-action universe has had a fascinating tenure in theaters, full of peaks and valleys. After the box office and critical failure of Justice League, the shard universe is looking up, as James Wan's underwater adventure Aquaman has broken box office records and become DC's second critical hit after Wonder Woman. Next up is David F. Sandberg's Shazam! which should break new ground with its unique tone and protagonist.
Zachary Levi is playing the superhero side of the film's title character, and will be rocking Shazam's signature red suit and white cape. Ahead of the film's first trailer, images from the set were leaked, and critics accused the film of padding Levi's costume to make him appear more muscular. While that controversy has certainly calmed down, we've got a better idea of just how much those costumes set back production. As costume designer Leah Butler recently revealed:
Holy budget, Batman. While Shazam! likely cost Warner Bros. a huge chunk of change to produce, it look like around $10 million alone was designated for the title character's super suit. Billy Batson and Freddy would be so proud.
The amount of money designated to produce 10 Shazam suits makes the previous controversy around the costume all the more maddening. Because while production had millions of dollars on the line to create the title character's look, the internet was attacking the costume before the film's first footage debuted. Ultimately that anger toward the suit has died down, and anticipation for Shazam! has been steadily building since the trailer arrived in July at Comic-Con.
In his same conversation with TotalFilm (via Syfy) Leah Butler discussed the lengthy process that went into creating the Shazam! suits, saying:
Well, that couldn't have been difficulty. Despite the criticism, a ton of work went into creating Shazam's costume for his first live-action appearance. Weeks of time, specifically. Furthermore, the suit was being created as actor Zachary Levi was in the midst of a body transformation. As he bulked up, the costume designer had to hope the thing would fit once the suits were crafted.
It should be interesting to see how Shazam's suit functions onscreen, given the film's unique tone and setting. David F. Sandberg's upcoming blockbuster will focus on the kids of the DCEU, and show how regular folks are living in a superpowered world.
Shazam! will arrive in theaters on April 5, 2019. In the meantime, check out our 2019 release list to plan your trips to the movies in the New Year.
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 CinemaBend. 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 famous actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid.
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