Shazam’s marketers gave up another sneak peek of the flick this afternoon, reinforcing the point that The Big Red Cheese’s big screen debut won’t be as brooding and conflicted as a certain Golden Age colleague’s.
Such goofiness has been the m.o. in the promos so far, featuring Zachary Levi as a Shazam more at home hawking used cars on a UHF channel or greeting kids at a grocery store opening. We’re definitely getting D.C.’s first comedic superhero movie when this thing premieres April 5.
Shazam’s history in getting back to the big screen (he appeared 77 years ago in a serial for Republic Pictures, which ain’t around no more) is about as tortured as the real-life history of the Captain Marvel character. Various creative types have been noodling on this movie for about a decade, but it took formally renaming the character to Shazam to get him out of the way of Marvel’s Captain Marvel copyright — and the reason why it and not DC owns that is a fun trip down intellectual property memory lane.
So, now that both hero and the wizard giving him his powers are named Shazam, we’re clear to proceed. For those old heads (like me) who are wondering what he’s doing in the same room as an adolescent, that isn’t Billy Batson, it’s Jack Dylan Grazer as Freddy Freeman (not the Atlanta Braves first baseman).