Shazam!, like a couple of other DC Comics movie before it, focused on a single super hero. As a result, the film allowed proper space for the titular hero to be introduced in a true origin story narrative. However, that doesn’t mean it wasn’t without its references and outright appearances from the larger DC movie world.
Spoilers for Shazam! follow. Major spoilers!
By the time Shazam! came to an end, characters such as Aquaman, Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, and even Black Adam had been referenced. However, only one would appear in the final moments of the film. After being subjected to bullied, Freddy finally got his wish of being joined during his lunch period by Shazam! and Superman. While Zachary Levi portrayed the Shazam! role as he did throughout the film, Henry Cavill didn’t come to set for the Superman appearance. As a result, the film cropped Superman’s head from the frame.
“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,” Shazam! producer Peter Safran told ComicBook.com. “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.”
Earlier in the film, a history lesson which appeared to involve Dwayne Johnson’s Black Adam character (more on that in the Recap to the Rescue video above) took the screen. While the filmmakers not ready to cement this as a Black Adam appearance, Safran admits it is certainly a deep cut for Shazam!’s history.
“Clearly, we don’t say that it’s a tease of Black Adam, but a perceptive individual like yourself might make the argument that that was, in fact, Black Adam that the wizard was referring to,” Safran said. “I think, again, it’s just something for the fans, people that know a lot about the history of Shazam!. It’s a fun thing to think about. For those that don’t, it’s just part of the origin story. It’s just learning the history of the wizard and his brothers and sisters who are protecting the realms.”
As for when fans can look forward to another opportunity for Shazam! to crossover with other DC Comics heroes, a sequel will likely be put on the fast track. “I think you got kids that are growing up very quickly, so I suspect it sooner rather than later, before Asher [Angel]’s taller than Zach [Levi],” Safran said.
Shazam! is now playing in theaters.