Shazam! scored big earlier this year when it debuted for being both an excellent superhero movie and a great comedy. However, as it turned out, making that balance between the two work was a constant struggle. An exclusive clip that is part of the special features of the Shazam! Blu-ray reveals that one of the films more memorable jokes, where Sazam! throws a Batman toy at his enemy, came from star Zachary Levi, but director David F. Sandberg nearly shot it down for being too silly. Check out the clip below.
The clip shows us some of the mall sequence from the film, as well as the toy store the movie constructed as a set piece for part of the battle. We see Zachary Levi, Mark Strong, and David F Sandberg going through how the sequence will play out, and Levi actually has the idea of throwing the large Batman toy at Strong, and including a gag line.
We see that in that moment, Sandberg isn't into the idea, much to Zachary Levi's disappointment. Though, the director eventually comes around to at least letting the actor try it and see if it works. Once he does that, it becomes clear that it does work, and the joke is kept in the movie.
Sometimes I'm a bit unsure if it is gonna work. Like, him throwing the Batman figure I was at first like, 'is that too silly?' But, like, yeah, let's try it, let's do it.
Shazam! was a movie that occupied space within the DC film universe, but it was, without question, the funniest of the movies that carry that label. Clearly, the movie wanted to be funny, the premise of a kid that becomes an adult superhero has a natural humor to it that would have been difficult to ignore. At the same time, if you still want people to feel like Shazam! takes place in the same world as Justice League, you can't get too slapstick.
It feels like the movie balanced these two concepts quite well. It was still a funny movie without skimping on the superhero action. This particular joke, happens quite quickly and while it may not have worked under other circumstances, the fact that it's a brief gag in a larger action sequence means you don't dwell on it too much. It might actually be a bit silly, but you only notice that in reflection, because the movie doesn't let you think about it too long.
That doesn't mean that there aren't silly things taking place behind the scenes. The clip also shows Zachary Levi going full Big, and busting out "Chopsticks" on the foot operated piano inside the toy store. The piano makes a brief appearance in the film, an obvious reference to that other movie where a boy is magically transformed into a man, but here we get to see it put to use.
Shazam! is available on Disgital HD today, and comes to Blu-ray July 16.
David F. Sandberg's director's commentary will only be available on Apple TV. In addition, by using the Shazam app during a specific part of that commentary, users will get access to even more behind-the-scenes details.