The eagerly awaited teaser trailer for director David F. Sandberg's Shazam! arrived like a bolt of lightning this afternoon at Comic-Con International in San Diego, revealing a far more lighthearted film than any previous installments of the so-called DC Extended Universe.
Although the superhero dates back 78 years, the film borrows heavily from the character's depiction during DC's 2011 New 52 reboot to tell the story of orphaned teenager Billy Batson, who finds first a new foster family and then a mysterious wizard who grants him a wondrous ability: to transform into an adult superhero by speaking the magic word "Shazam."
Clocking in at nearly three minutes, the trailer is heavy on setup, as you would expect, but there are also plenty of details to unpack.
Meet Billy Batson
Asher Angel (Andi Mack) stars as Billy Batson, a troubled orphan who's bounced from foster home to foster home, before landing with the loving Vasquez family, played by Cooper Andrews and Marta Milans. Billy has been depicted as an orphan from his introduction in 1940 in Whiz Comics #2, but for decades was depicted as a precocious boy reporter in the vein of Tintin. However, much of Shazam! draws inspiration from the character's reintroduction in the wake of DC's 2011 New 52 reboot, which introduced the Vasquezes as well.
Note the red hoodie, a nod to both Shazam's superhero costume and the sweater Billy traditionally sported in the comics.
'It Gets Real Game of Thrones Around Here'
Feature in a pair of movie images released by Warner Bros. over the past week or so, Jack Dylan Grazer of last year's It remake plays Freddy Freeman, who here and in the more recent comics is another foster child taken in by the Vasquez family. As we learned earlier this week, Freddy is a fanboy with a collection of superhero memorabilia, including a mangled bullet that bounced off Superman, which comes with a certificate of authenticity.
Originally in the comics, Freddy was an orphan who was severely injured during a battle between Captain Marvel (the original name of Shazam) and Captain Nazi. When physicians determined the damage to his spine and leg would prevent him from walking again, Captain Marvel whisked Freddy away to the wizard Shazam, who grants him the power to transform into Captain Marvel Jr. Although disabled when Freddy Freeman, as Captain Marvel Jr. he possesses superhuman strength and flight, and had no need for a crutch.