The Following Article Contains Spoilers for Shazam!
The Worlds of DC (formerly known as DCEU) is enjoying something of a renaissance with Wonder Woman, Aquaman, and now Shazam! which have steadily shaken off the darker tones of the past. Gone are depressed near psychotic billionaires, and in its place is a more hopeful world for heroes to go about their heroic business. Shazam! is a delightful (albeit slightly overlong) way to spend an afternoon at the movies, and it largely avoids connecting to the wider world of other Superheroes.
DC heroes are mentioned, we see plenty of merch thanks to Freddy’s obsession, but wisely there are no direct overlaps. Here’s where we get into spoilers, so if you’re still reading this is you’re last chance to remain free from spoilers. Right at the end of the film, Billy (as Shazam!) makes good on his promise to Freddy and has lunch with him at school. If that wasn’t enough, Shazam! introduces his friend who has also dropped by to say hi to Freddy, it’s Superman. Well, we don’t see his face (it was Levi’s stunt double), but it’s Superman. Producer Peter Safran recently revealed that they had hoped to get Henry Cavill for the cameo, but scheduling conflicts didn’t allow it to happen.
“At one point, we’d hoped it was going to be Cavill doing it, but unfortunately his schedule didn’t allow him to do it. We still wanted to do it anyway, and it turned out to be better, because it let us do a hard cut on Freddy’s reaction, because if we had Cavill there, we’d actually written lines, they had a dialogue, but then it’s a little bit of a hat on hat, because really what it’s about is Freddy’s reaction, so we got to get out on that.”
There was talk a while back that Warner Bros and Cavill were at odds over the cameo. Some rumours claim a cameo was shot, others say Cavill refused. It is also worth noting that Cavill wrapped on Mission Impossible Fallout last March and Shazam! was filming right up until May. Naturally, the scheduling conflicts could have been for something else, but Warner Bros has more than two months to find a day (or less) to shoot a cameo. The other side of that coin is that there has been lots of talk that Cavill was done with the role after the poor response to Justice League. His future as Superman remains unclear, so it kind of makes sense that the character’s cameo in Shazam! doesn’t show his face. That way it is open for Cavill to come back or be recast depending on what direction Warner Bros decide to go.
The next entry in the Worlds of DC is Todd Philips’ standalone Joker movie starring Joaquin Phoenix. The first trailer was released last week, and consider me intrigued.
Shazam! is out now in cinemas.