Warner Bros. recently announced that David F. Sandberg, of Lights Out and Annabelle: Creation fame, would be directing a Shazam! movie for DC Films as part of their Extended Universe. It was also announced that it would be the next DC film going into production and that Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson would not be playing Black Adam in the movie as previously expected. So with that in mind, what elements need to be in the film? Here are five things that Warner Bros. needs to get right in order to make a successful Shazam feature.
1. Magic Kingdom
The character of Shazam has always been tied to magic one way or another. By keeping the magical aspects of the character in the film, there is a lot of opportunity for Sandberg and co. to do some major world building that will help differentiate Shazam! from other films in the DCEU.
2. No Crossovers
One thing that made Wonder Woman so much better than Batman v. Superman was that it didn’t worry about trying to fit in so many characters from the DC Universe. It was able to stand on its own as its own superhero movie without having to be confined to a certain continuity or a certain tone. It was able to define itself as its own film without needing to adhere to the same tone as Man of Steel and BvS. If Shazam! follows Wonder Woman’s lead, it can define itself as its own great film and break out of the box of the DCEU.
3. Large Cast of Characters
One thing that the Shazam mythos relies on is the many allies and friends that Shazam has. Introducing these characters into the film would allow for some added drama in the film, and would also make for some interesting stories for any feature films. What works so well in the comic book source material is the occasional tension between Shazam’s supporting characters that provides some drama beyond just the hero fighting a handful of villains. That said…
4. Don’t Worry About the Villains
Although Shazam has always had a fairly large rogues gallery, his villains have never been the focus of the comics the film will be based on. If Warner’s doesn’t shoehorn a bunch of villains into the movie, they can give the story of Billy Batson some room to breathe. Which brings us to…
5. Pure Imagination
The greatest part of the Shazam story is the story of Billy Batson. At the beginning of his story, Billy is an orphan in the foster care system who just wants to turn 18 so that he never has to live in a foster home again. He hates bullies; he wants to stand up for the little guy; he wants to find his real family; but he’s not particularly nice to the people trying to help him, especially his new foster family. Then, one day, he gets to fulfill the dream that every child imagines: he gets magic powers and becomes a superhero. He is finally able to stand up for the little guy; he is finally able to fight the bullies he so deeply hates. And over the course of his adventures, he discovers the true meaning of family: family is what it can be, not what it should be. These elements of Shazam are essential to the movie. Without the heart and hope and wish fulfillment aspects of Shazam, the movie just wouldn’t be the same.
Those are our top 5 things that need to be in the Shazam movie. Did we miss anything? If you’ve got your own item you want to add, feel free to add your own comment to this post.