Pretending to be a superhero is half the fun of childhood. But what if you could go from being a kid to an adult with god-worthy powers just by uttering a single word?
That's exactly what happens in the upcoming movie Shazam. Young character Billy Batson can instantly change into an adult superhero just by yelling the word "Shazam!"
Who's making it?
The latest film in the DC Expanded Universe is directed by David F. Sandberg and written by Henry Gayden and Darren Lemke.
Shazam will be the first film depiction of the character since the 1941 serial Adventures of Captain Marvel, the superhero's original name. It's also the first full-length feature film centered around Shazam.
While the film has officially wrapped, both star Zachary Levi and director David F. Sandberg have been sharing their own Shazam tributes online.
On May 24, Levi posted to Instagram a fan-made image of Shazam slurping on a soft drink while watching fellow DC Comics superheroes Superman and Batman battle it out.
A couple of days later, Sandberg tweeted a short video mashup mixing the goofiness of Billy Batson/Shazam with the moodier movies fans are used to seeing out of the DC Comics film universe.
On July 12, Levi's Shazam superhero costume was officially revealed online. And on July 17, fans got a closer look at Shazam and his inner teen as he blew a giant bubblegum bubble and checked his cell phone on the cover of Entertainment Weekly.
Now Playing: Watch this: Shazam Comic-Con trailer turns a teen into a sweet superhero
What we know about the plot
According to the movie's official description, Billy Batson is a streetwise 14-year-old foster kid who always kept everyone at arm's length.
One day, a dying wizard grants him superpowers of six ancient heroes, which Billy can activate whenever he says the wizard's name, "Shazam." He is then turned into the adult superhero Shazam via a magic lightning bolt.
Shazam may look like an adult version of himself, but he's still a teen at heart.
Shazam tests the limits of his abilities to see if he can fly, have X-ray vision or any other kind of superhero-type powers. But he'll need to master whatever powers he might have quickly to fight the deadly forces of evil controlled by Dr. Thaddeus Sivana.
Billy's foster brother and best friend Freddy Freeman, who happens to be a superhero expert, helps both train Billy and keep Billy's new superpowers secret.
In the official trailer, we see all of those plot points to be true, but there's also a strong sense of humor throughout the film. In one sequence, Billy tests out his new superhero abilities as Shazam that include flying, strength and being bulletproof.
Some theories (based on the comics)
In the comics, Billy is transformed into a magical flying adult superhero who has "the genius of Solomon, the strength of Hercules, the unbreakable will of Atlas, the lightning blasts of Zeus, the power of Achilles and the speed of Mercury," according to the DC Comics website.
The first letter of each of the ancient heroes spells out the superhero's namesake — Shazam.
If the movie goes follows the original comics, we'll see Shazam not only have the strength, powers and fortitude of mythological Greek gods. He'll also have to deal with powerful enemies as well as struggle with his own youthful lack of judgment and experience.
The red superhero suit included the hood attachment seen on the New 52 version of the hero from the comics, according to Comicbook.com.
When does Shazam come out?
New Line Cinema and Warner Bros. Pictures will release Shazam in theaters on April 5, 2019 in the US and UK. An Australian release has not yet been announced. The film will also be available in RealD 3D and IMAX 3D.
Meet the cast
Zachary Levi as Shazam
Asher Angel as Billy Batson
Adam Brody as an unnamed principal cast member
Mark Strong as Dr. Thaddeus Sivana
Grace Fulton as Mary Bromfield
Andi Osho as Ms. Glover
Cooper Andrews as Victor Vasquez
D.J. Cotrona as a principal cast member
David J. MacNeil as Mr. Bryer
Faithe Herman as Darla Dudley
Grace Fulton as Mary Bromfield
Ian Chen as Eugene Choi
Jack Grazer as Freddy Freeman
Jovan Armand as Pedro Peña
Marta Milans as Rosa Vasquez
Ron C. Jones as The Wizard
This piece was originally published on May 29, 2018, and is updated as news of the upcoming movie rolls in.
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