When Warner Bros.' first live-action blockbuster featuring DC Comics' ancient wizard hit theaters in 2019, Shazam! not only performed well at the box office and delighted critics and audiences alike with its tongue planted firmly in cheek, it also offered up a shout-out to another iconic DC superhero.
Early in the film, Shazam (Zachary Levi) drops a few references to the larger DCEU, and then promises Freddy (Jack Dylan Grazer) to invite his good buddy Superman to drop in at their elementary school.
And Superman does … sort of.
In a mid-credits sequence, the Man of Steel turns up in the school's cafeteria — from the torso down, however. As a result, we never see Sup's face or the man who's been playing him for the last seven years, Henry Cavill. Part of the reason the actor was missing was due to the fact that when Shazam! was in production, he had exited the role after talks with the studio regarding Superman's future went nowhere following the critical and commercial disappointment that was 2017's Justice League.
As enjoyable as Shazam! was for moviegoers, the absence of Cavill annoyed the geek set enough that they took to social media to complain to director David F. Sandberg — who, a year later, apparently still hasn't heard the end of it.
But with Warner Media's new streaming service, HBO Max, launching this week and featuring the entire DCEU film output, including Shazam!, Sandberg decided to make things right. Having shot and posted several shorts on his own during his time in lockdown due to the coronavirus, Sandberg couldn't resist giving his DC flick the homemade upgrade as well — though we should note Cavill's Clark Kent/Kal-El cameo is unrelated to the news that broke earlier this week, that he's now in talks to reprise Superman in future DCEU movies.
And visually speaking, the homemade results — not unlike Henry's faux mustache in Justice League — are hilariously
up, up and away way, way out there. Check out Sandberg's tweet below and you'll see what we mean.
Per the trades, Cavill is not expected to don the cape again for the fabled Synder Cut, Justice League filmmaker Zack Snyder's unfinished version of the big-screen superhero collective, which is now destined to premiere on HBO Max in 2021. However, expect to see Cavill's Superman turn up in some forthcoming DC standalones, most likely Aquaman 2, Suicide Squad 2, or The Batman. Granted, after watching the clip above, Shazam! 2 would make the most sense to us.
Either way, we're happy Cavill's back. Let's just hope success, um, doesn't give him a big head.