As everyone on the entire internet must know by now, DC has released a lineup of films that will carry us through to 2020. The ones people are currently hyping are mostly Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice and [Aquaman](movie:264237) with Jason Mamoa but I maintain the one everyone should really be looking out for is Shazam. This film will follow the adventures of Billy Batson and his magical alter ego, Shazam (previously known as Captain Marvel and was called that 30 years before Marvel's Captain Marvel) who has the wisdom of Solomon, the strength of Hercules, the stamina of Atlas, the lightning based powers of Zeus, the durability of Achilles and the speed of Mercury. See, the initials of those six mythical figures in that order spell SHAZAM. And, as the picture above shows, he's a heavyweight in the Superhero world, able to throw punches with the best of them.
So, let's have 5 reasons why [Shazam](movie:738107) is a film to look forward to.
1. It's magic, I don't got to explain shit.
As he is powered by the magic of the Wizard of the Rock of Eternity, Shazam is a magical hero. And, to me at least, this is something we've both wanted and needed for some time. The technology featured in many Superhero films is so incomprehensible that it might as well be magic anyway. Don't get me wrong, I love RDJ spouting technobabble about his suit's thrusters as much as the next guy but I think it's about time we got a Superhero who unashamedly uses a force that doesn't obey any of the rules of physics. We almost got that with Thor but then Marvel decided that it would be better if Asgard had a sort of pretend science backing up their incredible abilities. This was a huge mistake, purely from a stylistic viewpoint. Superheroes are crazy and out there, this really should be embraced if we're going to get the movies we want.
Another example of this is Doctor Strange (2016) which show us Marvel's take on magic. What we've heard thus far is that the magic will be linked to dimension hopping and quantum physics. Colour me excited.
2. Something old, Something new
Did you know that Shazam was the first Superhero to ever be adapted for film? Well, he was and more than twenty years before Marvel created their own Captain Marvel. Unfortunately, we haven't seen him on the silver screen since, despite his enduring popularity with the fans. He was also the most popular and best selling Superhero of the 1940s, outselling even Superman. Not a lot of help these days but certainly something to think about. Shazam has always stood for a simpler, more idealistic time. While you can be sure he'll be somewhat changed for the 21st century, we can hope he's still the same kid in a Superhuman body.
Which leads me on to my next point...
3. A lighter tone
Is it just me or are all Superhero films these days dark, gloomy and gritty? Again, I'm not entirely complaining about this but it has to be said that even Superheroes that were once cheerful and symbols of hope (Superman and Captain America, for example) now feature in films that are less than cheerful and don't give me a lot of hope. I loved Tim Burton's take on Batman and I liked Christopher Nolan's one as well but maybe it's time to try something a bit less serious. As Tim Burton himself said
Marvel, they have their thing and there’s a certain formula to it all which seems to still be working. But how many times can you say ‘you’re wearing a funny costume’ with the tights and stuff? That’s been going on for 20 years now. Yes, we all know that superheroes are damaged individuals. Maybe we need to see a happy superhero?
And in Shazam, I think we will find that hero. The producer of the movie, Toby Emmerich, says that Shazam will be
It’s a DC comic, but it’s not a Justice League character, and it’s not a Marvel comic. The tone and the feeling of the movie will be different from the other range of comic book movies. It will have a sense of fun and a sense of humour. But the stakes have to be real.
So, after being told that this film will be a tone apart from any Superhero movie released thus far, we can be hopeful that this will be the cheerful film that Tim Burton and the fans want.
4. One for the kids
Unless DC and Warner Bros chooses to do something really crazy with Shazam, which we can fervently hope they don't, Billy Batson will be the protagonist and the driving force of the movie. While Shazam is the power of the two, who he is and how he acts is dictated by who Billy Batson is. Why is this significant? Because kids love Superheroes, even though the films aren't really aimed at them anymore. Avengers made far more from merchandise, predominantly bought by children, than it did in the box office. So a film aimed at children would not only sell but potentially bring in the lighter tone discussed earlier that the Superhero genre so desperately needs. And while some might worry about it being simplistic or predictable, I direct them to films like The Lego Movie, Malificent and How to Train Your Dragon. While aimed at kids, these film tackle surprisingly interesting issues and have much more depth and complexity than expected.
5. You know him, you love him...
He's so bad he's good. Though in this case, he's so bad that he's still bad. Yes, Dwayne Johnson, AKA The Rock, will play the villain of the pice, Black Adam. The actor himself is very excited for the role, as showed here and here. While the Rock has appeared in bad movies and plenty of them, he's a competent actor and exactly the right choice for a villain who can bring a serious threat and undertone without losing the light hearted nature of the film.