Shazam! director David F. Sandberg recently shared a poll from Variety and seems delighted that his movie is clocking in ahead of the upcoming Captain Marvel.
At the time he shared it, the poll, which asked "Which superhero movie are you most excited for in 2019?" had Avengers 4 leading with 54 percent of the vote. The second was Shazam! with 29 percent and Captain Marvel -- which just released a new trailer ahead of this -- was in third with 12 percent.
By the time the poll closed, the three films got a little closer, with Captain Marvel stealing about 6 percent of the vote from Avengers 4. Now, an argument could be made that Shazam! benefited from being the only one of the four films not from Marvel Studios, which effectively split the vote of the Marvel fan three-ways, leaving fans of DC with a more singular focus here. However, the whole reason this came up has to do with character names.
In Sandberg's post, he ends with "#TheOriginalCaptainMarvel." This is in reference to the fact that the DC character's name was previously Captain Marvel, as well, and not Shazam, as so many casual comic fans seem to think. DC's Captain Marvel, who originally appeared in Fawcett Comics until a lawsuit in 1953 alleged that he was too close to Superman, became part of the official DC Family in 1972. The Marvel Comics counterpart across the street showed up in 1967. Aside from their names, however, the two characters had very little in common. One of magic origins and the other of alien, it seems just a happy and unexpected coincidence that they both ended up making their way to the big screen in 2019.
Of course, the Carol Danvers version of the character took up the mantle much more recently. Danvers first appeared in Marvel Comics in 1968 and then became the superhero Ms. Marvel in 1977. It wasn't until 2012 that she picked up her current moniker as Captain in the books. It looks as though the MCU has chosen to skip over all of the Ms. Marvel (along with Binary and Warbird) stuff and just get right to it.
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This seems like some pretty light-hearted fun based off a poll that could hardly be considered scientific. Sandberg previously directed the horror films Annabelle: Creation and Lights Out, and this will be his biggest budget movie to date. Clearly, he's excited about it. The box office will ultimately decide which Captain the public really wants to see more.
Arriving April 5, 2019, director David F. Sandberg’s Shazam! stars Asher Angel as Billy Batson, Zachary Levi as Shazam, Mark Strong as Dr. Thaddeus Sivana, Djimon Hounsou as an ancient wizard named Shazam, Grace Fulton as Mary Bromfield, Jack Dylan Grazer as Frederick “Freddy” Freeman, Ian Chen as Eugene Choi, Jovan Armand as Pedro Peña, Faithe Herman as Darla Dudley, Cooper Andrews as Victor Vásquez and Marta Milans as Rosa Vásquez.