Like Marvel Studios before it, Warner Bros. built a shared universe of superheroes on the big screen. While certain movies of the so-called DC Extended Universe built up to one another, like Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice and Justice League, others, such as Wonder Woman and Aquaman, have featured more standalone adventures.
While we already knew that the upcoming Shazam! would take place in the same shared universes of films, it appears that the Zachary Levi-starring vehicle will also take place in the DCEU, but feature a more standalone approach to its story.
"We are definitely within the DCEU world," Levi confirmed during a set visit interview with Screen Rant. "Everything that has happened - again, you should ask the people above me about some of these things - but the bulk of... I think since the Man of Steel, all of that has really happened in our world. Freddy is more the comic book--not just comics, he is the superhero aficionado. That guy is all about it. All of that stuff, theoretically, we could have been watching on the news as it was going down."
"I mean, everything exists that we had in there. It's all these DC toys--they're all real DC toys that are in there" the actor continued, referencing the superhero toys seen in the Shazam! trailers. "I mean, for some [the studio/producers] were like, "Hey, you can't have that character, because that character's not in the universe yet. You have to stick to these characters.""
But even if the movie takes place firmly in the DCEU, it still stands on its own. When asked if the movie, like Justice League, required prior knowledge of the DCEU to be fully enjoyed, Levi answered: "No, in that case, it's very standalone. Like, you don't have to have seen any of the other films, because it's its own, contained story, really. It's just more the world of [DC movies] that's part of it."
Arriving on April 5, 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 the ancient wizard 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.