Things are about to get very exciting around here for superhero movie fans. Marvel Studios has Captain Marvel swooping into theaters, and the MCU is building towards Avengers: Endgame. And sandwiched between them, the DCEU is going to introduce a new cinematic superhero in the form of Shazam (Zachary Levi). A teenager in a superheroâ€™s body, Shazam is granted his powers by a wizard, and in this anticipated trailer, we see a lot more of Shazamâ€™s powers on display. Check it out:
The fun part about Shazam!, as directed by David Sandberg, is that the hero and his sidekick, Freddy Freeman (Jack Dylan Grazer), are learning about his powers at the same time that we are. So they run through a series of tests that they video â€“ likely for YouTube â€“ and the hero improves as he goes.
Or, he doesnâ€™t. And skyscrapers in his city suffer as a result.
The new Shazam! trailer also leans heavily into the presence of Dr. Sivana (Mark Strong), a nefarious villain with sinister plans who will confront Shazam at every turn. The kid doesnâ€™t even know how to be a superhero yet, and already, he has a nemesis. Sivana has been one of Shazamâ€™s longest-running adversaries in his comics, so introducing him in the heroâ€™s origin story makes all the sense in the world.
Shazam! also looks to continue DC and Warner Brosâ€™ new strategy of telling individual stories for its heroes that are lightly connected, but not forcing a shared universe. James Wan told an Aquaman story that referenced Steppenwolf but didnâ€™t need to shoehorn in Batman (Ben Affleck) or Superman (Henry Cavill). Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) is off on her own adventures in her solo movies. And now Zachary Levi gets the chance to establish his own presence in a separate universe that still references the Caped Crusader and the Man of Steel, without needing to necessarily include them.
Well, except for this moment when Shazam throws a Batman doll at Dr. Sivana.
So far, the tone of Shazam! looks fantastic. There are huge laugh-out-loud moments in this movie, and while itâ€™s not a direct contradiction to the doom-and-gloom of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, itâ€™s definitely a natural and lighter step away from â€œsomber,â€ because thatâ€™s what Shazam, as a character, demands. This is a teenager in the body of a hero who is figuring out how to use his newfound gifts. Of course heâ€™s going to try and buy beer, and freak out after he catches a city bus. You would, too, if you were basically 15.
DC and Warner Bros. bring Shazam! to the big screen on April 5. The DC universe will continue to expand later this year when Todd Phillips brings his Joker movie to theaters in October. And then in 2020, DC fans have Birds of Prey and a new Wonder Woman sequel to anticipate. Want to keep up with all thatâ€™s happening in the DCEU? Bookmark our guide, which we update often.