The DC live-action universe is an unpredictable place, with a history featuring both peaks and valleys. But things are currently looking up, as Warner Bros. is surfing on the massive critical and box office success of James Wan's Aquaman. There are some very exciting projects coming down the pipeline, including Birds of Prey, Joker, and Matt Reeves' The Batman. But before any of those blockbusters arrive in theaters, Andy F. Sandberg will expand the shared universe with Shazam!, and focus in on kids living in a superpowered world.
Zachary Levi is playing the title character in Shazam!, or at least the super hero version of Billy Batson. The pressure is on for Levi to inhabit the character for the first time in live-action, and bring his naivety and awesome superpowers to the silver screen. DC fans were hoping that Shazam would join the Justice League, although now it appears that there's no concrete plans to bring that team of heroes back to theaters. But Levi is still holding out hope, recently saying:
I hope I get to be part of the Justice League. At San Diego, Jason Momoa quite literally took me under his wing, put his arm around me and was like, ‘Welcome to the family.’
Despite DC losing Ben Affleck as Batman and suffering a serious setback with the mediocre performance of Justice League, Zachary Levi is still hoping to be inducted into the League of heroes eventually. But since Warner Bros. doesn't release massive slates of films like the MCU, the studio's plans for that franchise are a complete mystery to the general public.
Zachary Levi's comments to Empire Magazine (via CBR) show how excited the Thor alum is for his upcoming role in the DC Universe. Much like his character Billy Batson, there's a level of optimism that is in juxtaposition to the fate of movies like Justice League and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. But the DC fandom waited decades to see The League assemble, so it would no doubt delight the generations of moviegoers if Warner Bros. took another shot at it.
Anticipation for Justice League was sky high, as the titular group of heroes were being adapted into live-action for the very first time. Unfortunately, the final product left much to be desired. Director Zack Snyder departed the project after a family tragedy, with The Avengers and Buffy's Joss Whedon helping to complete the project for its intended release date. But when Whedon tried to make drastic changes to the film's content and tone, the final result was a frankenstein film, as both director's visions clashed before moviegoers' eyes.
But the DC Universe looks like it's doing some course correction, with the next few releases focusing on capsulated stories, rather than crossovers and serialized storytelling. It worked for Aquaman, and anticipation for Shazam! is at a fever pitch.
Shazam! will arrive in theaters on April 5th. In the meantime, check out our 2019 release list to plan your next trip to the movies.