Shazam’s Stars Tell Us Why That Headless Superman Joke Worked In The First Movie, And Fans Are Chiming In

Superman's cameo in Shazam!
(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

The DC Extended Universe has had a wild tenure in theaters full of peaks and valleys. The franchise is expanding thanks to the release of Shazam! Fury of the Gods, which is in theaters this weekend. The original movie famously could have included a cameo by Henry Cavill, which ended up falling through. But Shazam’s stars told CinemaBlend why the headless Superman joke actually worked in the 2019 movie... and fans also weighed in.

During Shazam!’s credits scene, where Zachary Levi's title character surprises Freddy Freeman at school with a visit from Superman himself. But since the Cavill cameo didn’t work out, it ended up being a body double whose face is not visible. CinemaBlend’s own Sean O’Connell asked actors  Asher Angel and Jack Dylan Grazer about that sequence ahead of the release of Shazam! Fury of the Gods, and they both actually agreed they liked it. Angel also shared how this might be helpful as James Gunn and Peter Safran are re-shaping the DCEU. The Billy Batson actor put it:

Is it Henry Cavill? You don’t really know who it is. It kinda sets up the future, like what’s going to happen in the future. Who's gonna be Superman?

Points were made. While the first Shazam! movie was made many years before the recent shakeup in leadership at DC studios, the fact that Henry Cavill didn’t appear might actually help the franchise moving forward. Namely because he’s officially out as Superman, with James Gunn set to direct his own new Superman story in the official timeline.

You can see Asher Angel and Jack Dylan Grazer speak about the Superman cameo in Shazam! below. They’re clearly super enthusiastic about the growing DC franchise, with Grazer doing his own unique impression of Henry Cavill in the process. Check it out:

Those looking to get their DC fix will no doubt be pleased that Shazam! Fury of the Gods is finally in theaters. Reviews have been pretty positive, which seems like a good sign for the future of the DC franchise. Although it should be interesting to see how it ultimately performs at the box office, especially since the shared universe is in such a state of flux.

While it remains to be seen if another Shazam! movie is coming from Warner Bros., the cast and crew seem pretty hopeful about the future. Zachary Levi is committed to playing the title character for as long as the studio has him, although Black Adam being put on pause makes their crossover feel like it’s never going to happen. Fans weighed in on Asher Angel and Jack Dylan Grazer's thoughts about that scrapped Superman cameo, with one user tweeting:

I mean it was Henry cavils suit so we can all just assume it was his version of the character.

That's a pretty fair point. Obviously the Superman scene in Shazam! was originally meant to reference Henry Cavill, with his signature suit being worn by the body double. But since we never actually saw the Enola Holmes actor, technically the franchise could do some retconning.

Since a new Superman movie is coming together, the ambiguous nature of that Shazam! cameo might leave things open for the franchise to remain in the new version of the cinematic universe. Another fan pointed that out while agreeing with Asher Angel, posting:

Works now because we actually do have a new Superman lol

The final trailers revealed that Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman has a cameo in Shazam! Fury of the Gods, which is yet another fascinating wrinkle in this situation. Patty Jenkins’ threequel was also scrapped when DC got new leadership, so even Gadot’s future is unclear. There’s just so many questions surrounding this transitional period.

Shazam! Fury of the Gods is in theaters now. Be sure to check out the 2023 movie release dates to plan your next movie experience. Hopefully we get more information about the DCEU sooner rather than later. 

Corey Chichizola
Movies Editor

Corey was born and raised in New Jersey. Graduated with degrees theater and literature from Ramapo College of New Jersey. After working in administrative theater for a year in New York, he started as the Weekend Editor at CinemaBlend. He's since been able to work himself up to reviews, phoners, and press junkets-- and is now able to appear on camera with some of his favorite actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid. He's particularly proud of covering horror franchises like Scream and Halloween, as well as movie musicals like West Side Story. Favorite interviews include Steven Spielberg, Spike Lee, Jamie Lee Curtis, and more.