My full recap of the marketing for Shazam! Is up at The Hollywood Reporter.
Online and Social
In addition to the usual trailers, synopsis and more the movie’s official website prominently features a “Shop” link at the top opening a section where you can buy apparel, action figures and more. There are also links to the official Instagram, Facebook and Twitter profiles.
Media and Publicity
There was all sorts of coverage before the movie ever went into production, mostly from Johnson as he tried to seemingly force it into existence by sheer force of will. Oddly, it was in this pre-production phase that reports circulated a Black Adam solo movie was being greenlit.
Just before San Diego Comic-Con 2017, DC’s Geoff Johns announced Johnson would not be appearing here but was still attached to a solo Black Adam story, explained here, that was yet to be officially announced. Several months later Levi was announced as the titular hero, at least in his adult form.
For the second year in a row a major story hit in advance of Comic-Con. In early July of last year a first-look at Levi in costume as the hero was released along with comments from director David Sandberg about how that costume was designed and more. A second photo came out shortly thereafter. EW also put Levi, in costume, on the cover of its special Comic-Con issue, which included the first photo of a young Billy Batson and comments from the producer on the hero’s potential crossovers with other characters.
In early December Johns was interviewed about both the movie and the Shazam comic series that launched at that time, as well as his general love of the character and how he’s excited to see it back in the spotlight. Around the same time Levi, while promoting another project, also spoke about the tone of the film as well as his work to bulk up for the role and offered his thoughts on a Shazam/Black Adam fight. Another interview with him allowed the actor to talk about his long love of comics.
A big interview with Levi and other members of the cast talked about their experiences bringing the hero to life and making the story so much fun. Sandberg also spoke about the process that went into Levi’s casting while the actor told some funny stories when he appeared on “The Late Show.”
IMAX released one more promotional video with Levi and Angel encouraging people to see it in that format.
Picking Up the Spare
The hero is getting his own DLC for the LEGO DC Super-Villains game.
Levi continued to be interviewed about taking on a super hero role and more.
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.