One of the questions facing the Shazam! movie was whether it would be grim and dark like Batman v Superman, or bright and colorful like the more popular Wonder Woman. That it was given to a director known for horror films may have seemed like a red flag, but speaking to the Toronto Sun, David F. Sandberg made it clear that he’s embracing fun and childlike wonder with this movie.
“The big attraction for me with [Shazam!] is the fact that every kid dreams of being Superman, right? I mean I certainly did, and [Billy Batson] is a kid that gets that chance,” said Sandberg. “He gets to become the superhero. So it’ll be Big with superpowers in a way. In terms of what people can expect, I think this will be one of the more fun or lighthearted movies so far in the DC universe. It certainly will be a departure.”
This sounds like the exact right approach for Shazam! to us. The character has long been one of DC Comics’ most innocent, positive characters, thanks largely to his young mind. That his film will be based more in joyful wish-fulfillment than the somber tones of Batman v Superman sounds more faithful to the classic character, and more fun for audiences.
Another positive sign for Shazam! is that early reviews suggest Sandberg could be on a hot streak. His latest film, Annabelle: Creation, is drawing positive reviews, with a 100% Fresh on Rotten Tomatoes as of this writing.
DC Comics Chief Creative Officer Geoff Johns took over as head of DC’s film branch following Suicide Squad, and between Wonder Woman (which he co-wrote) and Shazam!, it looks possible that he’s brought a brighter, more fun tone to the franchise. Although it remains to be seen if Justice League and Aquaman keep that trend going.
Shazam! is the next DCEU movie to start filming, and will strike theaters in 2019.
Image: DC Comics