Warner Bros. and New Line Cinema have revealed the first Shazam! trailer for the upcoming DC Extended Universe film. Directed by David F. Sandberg (Annabelle: Creation), the film tells the story of a 14-year-old boy named Billy who, when he shouts the word “SHAZAM!”, can turn into an adult superhero. Asher Angel plays the boy, while Chuck star Zachary Levi plays the adult Shazam. It breakout Jack Dylan Grazer plays Billy’s best friend Freddy Freeman. The film is firmly set in the DCEU, but stands in contrast to Batman v Superman and Man of Steel with a fun and “family-centric” tone.
This actually looks fun! And not in a Justice League “look how much fun we’re all having!” way. Actual, genuine comic book-y delightfulness all around.
The padded silliness of the Shazam suit makes a ton more sense in context, too. I love the way Levi is playing a kid reacting to a beefed-up superhero’s body, like a madcap mash-up of Big and Marvel’s Luke Cage. The real highlight, though, is Levi’s chemistry with Grazer, which I have a feeling will be the heart and soul of this movie. After watching Superman destroy entire cities and Batman brand criminals with a death-sentence mark, it is so gosh dang refreshing to watch a superhero enjoy having powers while his best friend records it for Youtube. Being able to fly should be fun.
I do feel a little like Djimon Hounsou‘s Wizard and Mark Strong‘s Dr. Thaddeus Sivana got a bit short-changed in the footage—we don’t even see Hounsou’s face!—but even that’s okay. The important thing here was setting up the tone and the main duo—and it’s great we saw just as much of teenage Billy Batson as we did Shazam—with plenty of time before the release date to introduce supporting characters and the baddies.
Because this is the DCEU I can’t commit to a full thumbs up—I loved the Suicide Squad trailer, and the hurt there still runs deep—but dang, I am tentatively hyped.
Check out the Shazam! trailer below. Scripted by Henry Gayden (Earth to Echo) from a story by Gayden and Darren Lemke (Goosebumps), film also stars Grace Fulton, Faithe Herman, Ian Chen, Jovan Armand, Cooper Andrews, and Marta Milans. Shazam! opens in theaters on April 5th.