Riding high on the success of last December’s Aquaman, Warner Bros. and DC Entertainment are poised to release Shazam! this April. Shazam! follows the adventures of Billy Batson, a young boy in the foster care system who is imbued with super powers. As the film’s promotional campaign heats up, rumors have been swirling of other DC characters appearing in the film. The film’s first trailer features some mementos belonging to Batman and several newspaper clippings about Superman, who is at the forefront of rumors suggesting that other DC characters may make an appearance in the film. As fans of DC Comics know, Shazam and Superman bear a striking resemblance, with each hero having a similar color scheme to their costumes and each wearing capes.
In an interview with ComicBook.com, director David F. Sandberg and producer Peter Safran remained coy on whether or not the Man of Steel would appear in the film. Rather, Sandberg and Safran lauded Shazam!’s ability to remain connected to the larger DC Extended Universe while still having an independent storyline. Much like James Wan’s approach to Aquaman, Sandberg said that he directed the film in a manner that put Shazam front and center in terms of story. Sandberg continued that the writers originally considered Shazam going up against his comic archnemesis, Black Adam, before deciding that the character’s origin story merited a full movie by itself. The producers even cast wrestling legend Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson as Black Adam before shelving the character. When speaking on the possibility of a sequel to Shazam!, Safran says that he would love for the character to go up against Black Adam, but no plans have been finalized yet.
Despite Sandberg and Safran refusing to answer if Superman will appear in the film, industry insiders say that the studio always planned on including the character in Shazam! in a limited capacity. Sources close to the studio say that Henry Cavill departed the role of the Man of Steel in part due to his inability to find time in his schedule to play the character in the film. Meanwhile, the latest rumor states that Superman will make a brief appearance at the end of Shazam! and that the character will not be played by Cavill but by a body double.
Shazam! is scheduled for release on April 5.