The cinematic DC Universe has been the talk of the town as of late, between rallying support for the Justice League SnyderCut, Birds of Prey casting, Joker set videos, and the release of Aquaman next month, its easy to forget we are getting another entry in the DCU in less than six months, Shazam! The film is currently undergoing the usual additional photography and Zachary Levi had bit to share about the characters place in the world and how the right time is now for a Shazam! movie.
Here are a few key excerpts from an interview Levi participated in with Comic Book Resources at New York Comic-Con, about Shazam!:
“This premise is kind of almost the most iconic of all wish fulfillment premises, And yet, for whatever reason, only now is this movie being made. But haven’t we all sat around as children wishing we had the ability to just magically transform into our super self? …Some days I wake up and I’m still hoping that my genetics are mutating and I’ll be able to – I was a big X-Men fan. X-Factor, X-Force, X-Everything! And that’s one of the things we love about that franchise, is that is that it just kinda happens. You were normal, and then you mutated?”
Shazam! has often been mentioned as drawing inspiration from BIG, and here Levi echoes similarities between the film BIG, and Shazam! I mean what kid has never wished to have the ability to fly, or super strength, or run fast, and Levi seemingly a kid himself feels a sense of relatability to the character.
“Shazam is the kind of classic – it’s almost Grecian almost in that you’re a normal person who says a word it’s a magic word and all of a sudden now you are imbued with magical superpowers, You get fast and strong and all of these things. I think there’s something so incredibly classic that’s wrapped up in that, but also the very pure, unjaded wish-fulfillment of a pure-hearted kid who really is just trying to make his way in the world, find love, find his family and this all-powerful wizard sees in this kid something no one else sees and therefore because of that rewards him and then he gets to be Earth’s Mightiest Mortal. It’s just so awesome, it’s so cool to get to be able to take that on. And again, being a bit of a man-child, I don’t want to say it’s second nature because I’m still an adult, obviously, but I think it’s something that I feel like I’ve always been, I’ve always tapped into that and really am grateful that however I was created in this world is something that’s lending itself to bringing this character to life.”
Levi also expresses his feeling that Shazam! is coming out at the right moment in time. In a world filled with turmoil and hate, a general lack of professionalism and respect is why Levi feels Shazam! couldn’t have come out at a better time.
“Honestly, I think the purity of it. While we all like seeing movies that challenge us with their kind of the darker underbelly of life and we need to shine lights on those things and tell those stories, there’s a lot of heaviness in the world and I think that it’s really beautiful when you can go and cheer for that’s just got a good heart that really does mean well and they’re trying to find their way in the world.”
“We need heroes, that’s why I think we flock to superhero movies. We wanna see ourselves in them, we do see ourselves in them, but we also feel kind of inspired and more hopeful that there is good in the world that is vanquishing the evil in the world that is standing up for the everyman and going and trying to make a difference. But again also, it’s the wish fulfillment. Other characters, other superheroes you don’t’ necessarily, it’s difficult to see yourselves in those shoes. But Billy Batson is every kid, he’s every kid. Again, we’re 14 or younger, or adults still we’re still having that wouldn’t it be so cool if and Billy Batson is the manifestation of that. Wouldn’t it be so cool if you were transported to a magical dimension and a wizard says I pick you and boom, now you get to go fly?”
Shazam! released an initial trailer earlier this year to positive buzz and with the Aquaman releasing worldwide next month, I would expect the DCU’s next big follow up to have a new trailer attached. Both films need to shine in order to shed some of the negative reception that had surrounded the DCU in the past, and with early positive buzz for Aquaman the DCU is headed in the right direction.
Let us know what your thoughts are on Levi’s comments and if you are looking forward the DCEU’s next two entries, Aquaman and Shazam!