Shazam! is finally coming. After months of speculation on whether or not the movie would happen, David F. Sandberg has been having a blast putting the project together and teasing us with it throughout the past month. Here's the thing, though: The movie is still in pre-production and it technically doesn't even have a release date yet, so there are plenty of things we've been kept in the dark about. Putting aside the fact that there are no actors for #BillyBatson or his heroic counterpart (even though there are some candidates), we have no idea of what we'll get to see in theaters.
With production set to begin early next year, #WarnerBros and Sandberg have been focusing on getting the main cast together. Omega Underground got their hands on an audition tape from Hannibal's Brendan Heard. The actor was auditioning for a character named Frank, and the audition tape shines a light on two exciting bits of information from the film. Let's delve into them right now.
Shazam May Be Getting His Very Own Sidekick
While scenes for audition tapes are carefully crafted so as to avoid story leaks, Heard mentions having a disability, which is a major giveaway for who he was auditioning for: #FreddyFreeman. For those of you non-comic book nerds out there, worry not, I've got you covered. At one point in Shazam's history, he was battling Captain Nazi, and one of the hero's punches sent the villain flying into a lake.
Freddy and his grandpa, Jacob, were fishing in said lake, and they saved Captain Nazi without realizing who he was. Nazi took advantage of this, and he threw Jacob into the lake and hit Freddy with the oar. While Freddy's grandfather died, Shazam was able to save the boy. The hero took Freeman to the wizard Shazam (yes, another Shazam...it's confusing), and he gifted part of his powers to him. Freddy woke up and realized he could transform just like his hero without his disability. He was appropriately dubbed #CaptainMarvelJr as a result.
Now a hero, Freddy has been on a number of adventures. Guessing that Freddy is in the movie from the audition tape is purely speculation on my part, but there is a good chance of that being the case. If he is indeed part of the story, his backstory may have you wondering whether he'll adopt his superhero persona at some point in the movie.
While there's very little we know about the film, that doesn't look likely. This project is expected to introduce Shazam to general audiences. The hero has quite a convoluted backstory all by himself, so I doubt Sandberg would risk losing general audience members with even more crazy heroes.
Some Cool Justice League Easter Eggs
The DC Extended Universe has been undergoing a shift in structure ever since the release of Wonder Woman. Shazam! will be one of the most significant changes to the franchise, as #DavidFSandberg has teased it will be the saga's most lighthearted movie yet. Because of that, fans have been scratching their heads, wondering whether the movie would be enjoying a strong continuity between the rest of the DCEU.
Granted, we know it's part of the universe, but would regular moviegoers be able to tell that Billy Batson lives in the same universe as Diana Prince, Barry Allen, Aquaman and Batman? Thanks to that same audition tape, it appears as though they will. Later on in the audition tape during a conversation with Billy Batson, Heard's Freddy decides to break the ice by showing the young hero his superhero obsession.
To accomplish that, he uses two of the most nerdy items someone living in a real #DCEU could possibly have: A replica Batarang and a bullet that bounced off of Superman:
"Oh, the Batarang? It's a replica. But check it... feel how sharp it is [...] More of a Supes guy? [...] Behold, the Holy Grail: Nine millimeter round, shot at Superman himself. Legit."
Speaking of cool superhero references, Billy also mentions Mary at one point. In the comics, Mary is Billy's sister, and also #MaryMarvel. That's a potential indication that she'll be in Shazam's solo adventure. But again, dear readers, please keep in mind that this was just an audition tape. As mentioned, they're crafted for story leaks to be kept to a minimum. Furthermore, the scenes written for actors often aren't part of the actual film. With that in mind, we should be skeptical when expecting this scene to be in the movie.
However, that doesn't mean that Freddy won't be a superhero fanboy. He'll definitely be #DC's own version of a quirky, sci-fi proficient sidekick, so the character will still probably be in charge of dropping some juicy #EasterEggs for us fans to pick out.
It's funny to see how this movie seems to parallel Peter Parker's journey in the MCU. He'll be a kid growing up in a world full of recognized superheroes as he has powers of his own that grant him gargantuan responsibilities, while apparently being aided by a similarly geeky friend (Freddy). As a big fan of the comics, I'm excited to see that dynamic play out in the DCEU.
Shazam! doesn't have a release date yet, but it's expected to come out sometime in 2019.
What did you think about the Batman and Superman Easter Eggs in the Shazam! audition tapes? Are you excited about the possible introduction of Freddy Freeman? Let me know in the comments!
[Source: Omega Underground]