In the world of superhero movies, it’s hard to think of two movies that are more different than Shazam! Y Logan. One is a bright and joyful children’s movie, while the other is a grim and grim meditation on aging and death. However, as David F. Sandberg, who directed Shazam! As recently noted on Twitter, the two films have something in common in terms of how they recognize the larger world of superheroes they inhabit.

“In the world of Shazam the events of Man of Steel & BvS happened, but we also see that there are toys and merchandise of these characters and people who are fans, like Freddy. Something like in Logan We see that the X-Men comics exist, but the X-Men are also real at the same time. “

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In retrospect, both the movies that used toys and comics to recognize their superhero surroundings was a stroke of genius, because it allowed them to address their connections to their respective franchises, while also taking a whole new direction with no prior baggage. For example in Logan, the events of the previous X Men The movies were only referred to as outsized adventures that the world remembers as comic book stories, which were far removed from the harsh reality of the present movie.

Similarly, in Shazam!, the film takes place in the notoriously grim world of the DCEU, where Superman is seen as an alien menace who killed a man in public, Batman regularly shoots criminals, and the Justice League is far from a shining beacon of morality. for the world. .

Despite such a dark environment, David F. Sandberg addressed the presence of the other superheroes only through action figures and conversations between the main teenage character and his siblings. Thus, the DCEU was viewed through a younger and more hopeful lens, where the events of Batman v. Superman They were reduced to two action figures of the Hooded Crusader and the Man of Steel crushed by a child, and Superman did the most “Superman” thing in his entire DCEU career so far when he appeared to support a bullied kid in high school. at the end of the movie.

Of course, a large part of what he helped establish Shazam! aside was Zachary Levi’s confident portrayal of a lighthearted superhero, who had the difficult task of portraying a child trapped in the body of an adult superhero. In an earlier interview, Sandberg had explained what sets Shazam’s portrayal of Levi apart from the rest of the DCEU.

“[Zach] he is a big boy. It was very interesting, because by auditioning all these people before him, I saw what a lot of people do when they try to act like a kid, which is they lower their IQ or act more foolish. But then when I saw Zach, he had more enthusiasm and excitement, which sounded a lot like a genuine child. And I think that’s what really distinguishes, what distinguishes adults from children. Children have this excitement and this enthusiasm for things that adults … I don’t know if it’s just the problems of the world on our shoulders or whatever, but to me it was like he felt like a big child. It just felt perfect for the role. “

Directed by David F. Sandberg, Shazam! Fury of the gods stars Zachary Levi as Shazam, Jack Dylan Grazer as Freddy Freeman, Asher Angel as Billy Batson, and Marta Milans as Mama Rosa. The film hits theaters on June 2, 2023.

Topics: Shazam, Wolverine 3

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