The foundation of the DC Extended Universe may be shaky, but it still soldiers on as James Wan's Aquaman arrives in December and Shazam!'s principal photography is currently underway with David F. Sandberg (Annabelle: Creation) in the director's chair. Thor actor Zachary Levi stars as the eponymous superhero that young boy Billy Batson (Asher Angel) turns into after uttering the word "Shazam!"
The emergence of a photo online may have just provided our first glimpse of the titular character. Posted on Twitter, it shows someone (possibly Levi) in Shazam!'s iconic red-and-gold costume standing on a Christmas-decorated set in what appears to be the main concourse of a shopping mall. All of this indicates that the movie will take place during or around the holiday season.
The Yuletide imagery and mall-like setting give off some heavy Jingle All The Way vibes, which actually makes a lot of sense if you think about it. The Christmas season is marked by movies of people, especially children, finding themselves in supernatural situations that help teach them a lesson about being selfless and giving back to those in need. If Billy starts off as a kind of a selfish jerk before he gets his superpowers, then the whole holiday theme will help reinforce his character development from zero to hero. (Levi once described the movie's premise as Tom Hanks' Big, "but with superpowers.") And look, Shazam sort of resembles Turbo Man, doesn't he?
However, the kid version of Billy still needs to be a decent enough person to be considered worthy of the Shazam! identity by the ancient wizard played by Ron Cephas Jones. As the official synopsis states, he'll spend some time flexing his new abilities and having fun with them because, after all, it's a 14-year-old boy in a god's body. Once he's finished utilizing his immortal gifts to achieve a teenager's ends, he'll have to learn the responsibility of being a bona fide hero.
Mark Strong is the film's villain, Dr. Thaddeus Sivana. Grace Fulton, Jack Dylan Grazer, Ian Chen, Jovan Armand, and Faithe Herman portray Billy's friends at the foster home in which he lives. Earlier this month, Lotta Losten revealed that she had been cast in an unspecified role.
With a script from Henry Gayden (Earth to Echo) and Darren Lemke (Goosebumps), Shazam! is currently slated for theatrical release on April 19, 2019. Dwayne Johnson, still on board to portray Black Adam at some point in time, is attached an executive producer.