The DC live-action universe had had its share of missteps, but it seems like Warner Bros. has found its stride in recent years. After the box office disappointment of Justice League, the shared universe stepped away from crossover heavy projects, instead focusing on director-driven blockbusters that focus on one character at a time. It's a method that worked out well for Aquaman and Shazam!, and both projects are expected to get their own sequel shortly.
Early reports indicated that The Trench would arrive before Aquaman 2, but what about a sequel for Shazam!? Zachary Levi played the superpowered title character in the film, and seems to think that Shazam! 2 might be coming sooner rather than later. Mainly, due to the cast of child actors that should presumably be brought back for another adventure. As he put it:
The only other thing I know is they want to make it as soon as possible because those kids are growing up like weeds, so if we don’t do that in like the next two days, they’re gonna be full grown adults.
You've got hand it to Zachary Levi, he makes a solid point. Shazam! focuses on teenager Billy Batson, who is given fantastic powers by a Wizard. Billy's foster siblings also have major roles in the movie, eventually given their own superheroic doppleganger by the film's ending. So if Shazam! is going to get a sequel, it's going to need to go into production quickly before the young cast ages too much.
Child actors have always presented an interesting challenge in serialized storytelling, be it on the big screen of TV screen. Actors tend to age faster than their characters, causing some cognitive dissonance for audiences. Shazam! has a cast largely made up of young performers, so director David F. Sandberg and company are going to need to kick it into high gear ASAP. At least, according to Zachary Levi's estimation.
Zachary Levi's comments about a Shazam! sequel come from his recent appearance at Germany’s CCXP Cologne Convention (via Comic Book), and make a great deal of sense, and are sure to excite all DC fans out there. Shazam! brought something new to the superhero genre, adding a sense of naivety and childlike wonder to the previously ultra dark DCEU.
During his same appearance, Zachary Levi spoke about the talks going on regarding Shazam! 2, and the studio's response to the first film. He said:
I know that I’m gonna have a conversation with my bosses pretty soon about what the idea is and where we’re going with the new movie, but all I really know is that New Line, our studio, and Warner Brothers, our parent studio, and DC, and our producers and executives and everybody who’s involved in all of the decision making, they’re all very happy with what we did. They want to do even better the second time around, and they are crafting a story right now as we speak about what that sequel is going to be.
The DC fans should be happy to hear this news, as it appears the DCEU has really hit its stride following the worrying performance of Batman v Superman, Suicide Squad, and Justice League. Rather than releasing full phases of movie releases like the MCU, Warner Bros. appears to be approaching its shared universe more freely, allowing the performance of each blockbuster to dictate plans for the future.
Shazam! and Aquaman proved that DC could make movies that were critically acclaimed, and helped to breathe new life into the DCEU. Until that point, only Patty Jenkins' Wonder Woman managed to get great reviews, and the future of the shared universe seemed precarious. But now the studio has course corrected, with director-driven projects like Joker and Birds of Prey coming down the pipeline, in addition to the projects that are still being developed.