Warner Bros. Pictures got fast and loose with the teasers at its film panel during this year's WonderCon in Anaheim, California. In addition to releasing the first-ever trailer for Annabelle Comes Home, the studio showcased both Godzilla: King of the Monsters and Shazam!
When it came to the mega kaiju smackdown that will take place on May 31, a teaser/montage was shown, featuring some freaking awesome footage. In terms of the content, a voiceover establishes that there are monsters overrunning the Earth, and it seems as if it's Vera Farmiga's character, an agent of Monarch, who breaks the three-headed King Ghidorah out of some ice to join a fray that already includes Godzilla, Mothra, and Rodan. This choice proves to be the obvious wrong move on all kinds of levels.
Taking the stage, director Michael Dougherty (Krampus) said that "the whole goal for us with this film was to put the 'god' back in Godzilla ... We wanted to portray these creatures not just as giant animals, but as something you would bend your knee to in real life."
"It's about our ability to co-exist with each other and a higher power, a force of nature. ... There is a strong human element to the story," offered up Zach Shields, who co-wrote the script with Dougherty.
He added that the scene of Rodan emerging from a fiery volcano that we see in the trailer was inspired by the Book of Revelation. Ghidorah, it was revealed, is played in motion capture by three guys each playing a different head. As for the characters played by Farmiga, Millie Bobby Brown (Stranger Things), and Kyle Chandler (First Man), they're a family who lived through the first Godzilla appearance/attack in the 2014 film, and are still dealing with the trauma of such an event.
The Shazam! portion of the panel was attended by director David F. Sandberg and cast members Zachary Levi (Shazam), Asher Angel (Billy Batson), Mark Strong (Dr. Sivana), Jack Dylan Grazer (Freddie Freeman).
When asked if we'll see the hero in the wider DCEU, Levi said:
"I hope so. No one at this table has any of that information, that's above our pay grade, but I'd love to see Shazam brought into the [Justice] League."
Since the character was once known as "Captain Marvel" in the DC Universe, there have been Internet trolls stirring up controversy in the wake of the MCU's own female-led Captain Marvel film. Levi addressed this, too, saying:
"It's about that we defend what is true. When you see or hear a lie, it's all our responsibilities to correct that lie, with love, to confront that and say hey, let's not do that anymore."
And since Strong, who plays the movie's central villain, played Sinestro in 2011's Green Lantern, this was familiar territory for him. But where that other DC film went nowhere, he has real villainous potential in this new role.
"I feel like I finally got the chance to carry through my evil through-line in the DC Universe. I never got the chance with Sinestro, but now I have with Dr. Sivana," he said.
Shazam! opens widely in theaters April 5. For SYFY WIRE's reporting from the film's red-carpet premiere, click here.