After a long rigorous process of setting DC’s plan for a Shazam! movie in motion, it seems like work for the movie is quietly progressing with lead star Asher Angel starting pre-production work for the project. Principal photography is scheduled to start in February of next year with the movie’s release date set for April 2019.
Following Jason Momoa’s Aquaman principal photography wrap, Warner Bros. is moving forward with their next standalone movie that will introduce Angel as young Billy Batson, opposite Zachary Levi as his superhero alter-ego, Shazam. The movie, which has gone through numerous narrative changes since it was first announced, slowly started taking shape with the hiring of Annabelle: Creation helmer David F. Sandberg as its director back in the summer. Shortly after, the casting process began with both leads nabbing their parts plus some supporting players like Grace Fulton, Jack Dylan Grazer, Ian Chen and Jovan Armand as Billy’s friends, as well as Cooper Andrews in a yet-to-be-specified role. Mark Strong is eyed as Doctor Silvana, the project’s main antagonist, and although no official confirmation has been announced, Sandberg promises a slew of casting news is coming our way soon.
As the hunt for other key roles in the film continues, internal work has started with Angel dropping by DC Films today to prepare for his upcoming gig. The Disney channel alum took it to his official Instagram account and posted a story detailing his visit to the company’s studio. Not much can be deciphered from his two shots but it could be for a screen test or even costume fitting. If that’s the case, then perhaps we might be treated to an official promo photo sooner rather than later. Check out the screengrabs below:
Warner Bros’ superhero franchise may be standing on unstable ground following the controversial Justice League which is projected for a final worldwide box office tally of $675 million. Not really a flop, but with an IP as massive as Justice League, coupled with the popularity of superhero properties, DC’s premier team of heroes could have made over a billion dollars, and it’s arguably what executives at the studio were hoping for. Unfortunately, marred by countless setbacks and politics, the Zack Snyder project suffered in quality, resulting in only a decent return on investment.
Having said that, the DC slate is moving forward with a stacked deck that will hopefully keep their film series alive. By taking a risk in lesser-known properties like Shazam!, DC Films somehow eases the pressure to succeed and indirectly lowers the expectation of people on their movies since this is a relatively unknown character. That is a good thing as it allows them to have creative liberty since it won’t always be compared to other adaptations of the hero.
Levi has already shared his hopes that Shazam! be like DC’s version of the Guardians of the Galaxy with its tone and humor, as well as the idea that it’s something new. It certainly has the ability to do so, but Sandberg and his team of writers will have to find a way to make both Billy and his superhero alter-ego compelling in a way so people buy the notion that despite being two different actors, they basically are a single entity.
KEY RELEASE DATES
Shazam! release date: Apr 5, 2019
Aquaman release date: Dec 21, 2018
Wonder Woman 2 release date: Nov 1, 2019