SPOILER ALERT: This article offers some information that may be considered SPOILERS for ‘Shazam!’ so proceed with caution.
On the eve of San Diego Comic-Con, more news continues to emerge. Entertainment Weekly, which sports Zachary Levi in full-‘Shazam!’ regalia on its SDCC special issue, has supplied another new photo from the film. They have already unveiled two images of Levi as Shazam along with costar Jack Dylan Grazer as pal Freddy Freeman. Now they have a new look at Grazer with the other half of the Shazam equation, Asher Angel as Billy Batson, the 14 year-old kid who transforms into Levi’s adult crime fighter.
Not only that, but whether EW had it planned or not, this picture includes several Easter Eggs, hinting at the larger Warner Brothers’ comic book film universe. Check it out:
Now, in DC Comics, in the past, it was established that the Golden Age superheroes lived on Earth-2 and the later Silver and Bronze Age existed separately on Earth-1. But on Earth-1, the Golden Age heroes did exist… in the pages of comic books. And when the ‘Shazam!’ characters were integrated, they were put in another parallel world, Earth-S.
Looking at this image, Grazer’s Freddy is wearing an Aquaman “A” logo tee shirt (with gold sleeves, no less) and on the shelf behind the boys, a Superman baseball cap and a Batman action figure are visible. On the shelf below, a replica Batarang is shown, along with two Superman drinking tumblers and another Superman “S” shield item that isn’t quite clear.
The obvious question is, does this mean that Billy and Freddy share this world with Superman, Batman and the rest of the Justice League? Or do those characters exist as only fictional characters? It makes sense that IF they are real people that some amount of merchandise with their images and logos might be obtainable, but it’s HIGHLY unlikely that any officially licensed merch would exist. Brooding Batman would never allow himself to be made into a TOY of all things. Plus, in the previous films, Batman was initially treated as an urban legend before being thrust into the spotlight, and Aquaman, along with The Flash and Cyborg, wasn’t known by the population at all. Wonder Woman’s status is a bit of a mystery.
So naturally, it would make more sense if they existed as they do in our world, as fictional characters. BUT, look closer. On the lower shelf, in between the blue Superman sippy cup and coffee mug is a copy of Time magazine with General Zod’s warcraft from ‘Man of Steel’ (and ‘Batman V Superman’) and behind Freddy, hanging on the wall is the front page of the Daily Planet, bearing the headline “Superman Is Back.” That makes a compelling argument that yes indeed, ‘Shazam!’ takes place in the DC Film Universe.
“Freddy’s a fanbody when it comes to Batman, Superman, the Justice League, so he becomes Billy’s mentor and sensei when it comes to being a superhero.”
Angel also discussed how many times he had to practice saying his magic word and how it impacted those around him:
“Oh my god, I can’t even tell you how many times I practiced saying it! My family and friends are asking if I’ll ever get sick of saying ‘Shazam!’ I’ll never be sick of it. Ever.”
Directed by David F. Sandberg, ‘Shazam!’ opens on April 5, 2019. Check back for more reveals and news over the weekend.
Additional source: ComicBook.com