6 Questions We Still Have Before Seeing Shazam!
DC is coming off of a major win after the massive success of Aquaman, and we'll see if lightning can strike twice with Shazam! The newest DC film is promising the same light and fun tone as Aquaman, and early reviews for Shazam! have been really positive. We'll know for sure next month if Shazam! will be a hit, but in the meantime, we are left to wonder on the last remaining details that the film has kept hidden.
Shazam! finds orphan Billy Batson (Asher Angel) chosen as the next champion of the wizard Shazam (Djimon Hounsou), granting him incredible powers that transform him into an adult superhero (Zachary Levi). It's a recipe for a really fun fish-out-of-water (or body) story and as with any superhero blockbuster, details have been kept extra slim. There are still plenty of questions left unanswered, and we've got the six most important ones we'd like to know listed below.
Why Does The Wizard Need A New Champion?
The basic concept of Shazam is that a wizard names him as his next champion and the protector of all magic, granting powers that put young Billy Batson on the level of Superman. In the comics, the reason tends to vary as to WHY the Wizard chooses Billy, but it's usually because he has a pure heart. The Wizard's reasons aren't clear in the movie, but we also have to wonder why he needs a new champion in the first place. Does he need to pass on his power before he dies? Is some kind crisis looming and the world will need a new champion? Whatever the case, the Wizard better have a pretty good reason for picking a 14-year-old orphan to fight his battles.
What's The Deal With Sivana?
Every hero needs a villain, and for Shazam! that villain is Dr. Sivana (Mark Strong). In the comics, Sivana is a decrepit mad scientist obsessed with magic. Usually, he doesn't have any powers, though the latest comic reboot gave him the ability to "see" magic. The movie decides to kick it up a notch and really shoots him full of steroids. Sivana has powers on par with Shazam, so question one is how did he get these abilities? Questions two is what does he want them for? Sivana is clearly up to no good, and word on the street is that he has a revamped backstory (which I won't spoil for you here), but it's unclear exactly what his true motives are and what he hopes to accomplish.
Will A Justice League Member Cameo?
The DCEU has adopted a strategy of keeping its various superhero films standalone rather than referencing or setting up other DCEU films. That worked out for Wonder Woman and Aquaman, but that hasn't stopped rumors that Shazam! might have a cameo from a Justice Leaguer. Superman (Henry Cavill) has been the popular choice and there are rumors that a Superman cameo was shot for the film, though, it's been a subject of debate whether Cavill was involved or not. While I don't think Shazam! needs a Superman cameo, it would still be really cool to see. Shazam! already references other DC characters, so why not have one actually show up?
How Does Black Adam Factor Into All This?
Before they had begun working on Shazam!, Warner Bros. had already lined up Dwayne Johnson to play classic Shazam anti-hero Black Adam. There have been tons of different reports over the status of Black Adam and what Warner Bros. wants to do with him, with a solo film looking like the most popular option. However, Black Adam is heavily involved in the Shazam mythology and backstory, and it's tough to see the Shazam! movie going its whole runtime without Adam factoring in somewhat. Will he just be referenced, or did Johnson film a secret cameo? Johnson is one of the biggest stars on the planet, so it's hard to imagine that Warner doesn't capitalize on that soon.
Is There Going To Be A Talking Tiger Or Not?!
Forget Superman and Black Adam. Where's the talking tiger? For those who don't know, Shazam comics used to be super weird and at one point a recurring character was a posh talking tiger in a suit named Tawny. What the tiger actually did, I have no idea. All I know is that he needs to be in live-action, trading jokes with Zachary Levi. Some versions of the character is just a regular tiger who gains the ability to speak later on thanks to Shazam's magic. Honestly, I'd be fine if Tawny was just a tiger at the zoo (which he was in the New 52 reboot), but if we can have a talking raccoon bring in millions of box office dollar, then why can't we have a tiger?
Will The Shazam Family Appear?
Shazam! takes a ton of inspiration from the New 52 reboot version of the character. Perhaps the most famous addition from the storyline was the introduction of the Shazam Family when Billy shared his mighty powers with his foster family. It was a powerful moment in the comics that saw Billy finally accept his new family, and it would make sense for the movie to do the exact same. While not officially confirmed by the studio, there are actors cast in the film who certainly look like they could play older versions of the child actors. Plus, there was some merchandise that indicated the Shazam Family would appear, but unless actually confirmed by footage, I'm not counting that!
There are still some important elements of Shazam! that are unknown to fans, but it's a good thing that the marketing isn't spoiling everything about the movie. It'd be a real bummer if it showed Superman or Black Adam appear in a trailer when it would have been better to just go into the theater cold. We also don't know for sure if the Shazam Family or a talking tiger will be making an appearance. Considering the importance of family to Shazam, I'd say that there is a pretty strong chance we'll see a bunch of super-powered kids running around by the time the credits roll. The jury is still out on that tiger, though.
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Matt has lived in New Jersey his entire life, but commutes every day to New York City. He graduated from Rowan University and loves Marvel, Nintendo, and going on long hikes and then greatly wishing he was back indoors. Matt has been covering the entertainment industry for over two years and will fight to his dying breath that Hulk and Black Widow make a good couple.
By Mick Joest
By Mick Joest
By Megan Behnke