Among the upcoming DC movies to get a brand-new trailer at Warner Bros.’ Comic-Con panel this weekend, director David F. Sandberg’s Shazam! cut through all the hype surrounding the hotly-anticipated Aquaman to stand on its own, racking up more than 7 million YouTube views (that’s more than the trailer for Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, if you’re wondering) in less than two days.
With that many eyeballs on what’s likely the most lighthearted and family-friendly movie on DC’s new release calendar, it’s perhaps inevitable that a few fans would catch a fun, knowing wink to other DC properties tucked away in the shadowed recesses of the Shazam! trailer. Some references were overt, like the Batman symbol in Billy Batson’s bedroom. But others took a sharper eye to spot.
One fan tweeted out a screengrab from the Shazam! clip that zoomed in on some pretty familiar-looking smiley faces, wondering aloud if those, too, make reference to a more distant piece of the DC film-verse. Sandberg saw the tweet, and hopped on to directly reply that, yes — they most certainly do, if the piece that you have in mind is Zack Snyder’s Watchmen.
Sandberg was on hand at Comic-Con to talk up the well-received Shazam! preview alongside stars Zachary Levi (Shazam/adult Billy Batson), Asher Angel (young Billy Batson), and Jack Dylan Grazer (Billy’s pal Freddy).
It was clear from their love of the material that Shazam! is going to make a great landing spot for Easter eggs and fan nods; Levi even told the panel that taking on the role of a kid giddy at the chance to live inside a superhero’s body has been nothing less than “complete wish fulfillment.”
Here’s hoping Shazam! has even more meta-goodies in store when it arrives next year — after we get past Aquaman. James Wan’s Atlantean epic swims into theaters on Dec. 21, ahead of Shazam!’s April 5, 2019 arrival.