Shazam! star Jack Dylan Grazer has revealed that Superman is Freddy’s favorite superhero.
Jack Dylan Grazer plays Freddy Freeman in Shazam! and he’s basically the film’s person in the chair. He is a superhero aficionado and has Batman and Superman memorabilia all over his room. Throughout the trailers and images that we’ve seen of his character, Freddy also has numerous t-shirts with superhero logos at his disposal.
We visited the set of Shazam! back in April and got the chance to sit down with some of the actors from the film. While talking with Jack Dylan Grazer, he revealed Freddy’s favorite superhero, and it’s Superman, the greatest superhero to ever exist. You can check out his full comments below.
Q: We keep hearing that your character is sort of the in to the DCU because he’s the fan of all the superheroes. Did you watch all the movies to prep or do you have to look at it from a real-world perspective because you’re in that world?
Grazer: I grew up with DC with Batman, the Justice League, all those, but going into Freddy, I did have to look deeper into all these crazy universes and stuff that I knew nothing about. Freddy’s like a huge extraordinaire. I wish I could know all that.
Q: Is being a superhero fan in that world more like being a sports fan our world? Like it’s not a weird thing.
Grazer: Cool question. Well, maybe. Yeah, I guess people kind of idolize the superheroes that are saving the world. So I guess, yeah.
Q: In the comics, Freddy gets to be one of the members of the Marvel family. Is that something that you’ve looked at or is that something that you’re excited to potentially get to mess with?
Grazer: Oh, yeah! Definitely. I’m sorry I have to be extremely vague. I was just told I have to be very, very vague, but yes!
Q: When you got the script and you’re getting ready to go film, what was the thing that you were most nervous about?
Grazer: I don’t know if I was nervous. I was more excited. You know what I was nervous about, actually, was my interpretation of Freddy. Especially for the fandom of DC, it’s hard to find something that’s perfect because there’s always something that you’ll pick at. It’s really hard to reenact, I guess, Shazam. That whole thing. But I think we’re doing a pretty great job.
Q: How much fun is it working with Zach? We got to see a few clips of you guys.
Grazer: He’s the best. He’s the best. It’s so much fun. We get to play off each other in the greatest ways. The chemistry is so good. It’s really good.
Q: Is it any different when he’s himself or when he’s playing a 14-year-old boy?
Grazer: Well, you know, in real life, it’s not that much of a difference. Zach is obviously a smart, intelligent man, but he does have these little boy sides of him and it’s so funny.
Q: Do you get opportunities to improv a little bit?
Grazer: Yeah! Oh my God! We actually have gotten to improv full scenes. Me and Zach are big fans of improvising.
Q: Is there anything specific you can talk about?
Grazer: I don’t think so.
Q: Can you talk about how Freddy helps Shazam embrace being a hero?
Grazer: Freddy, as you all know, has a disability with his foot and his spine and he, in my eyes, is kind of a hero due to the fact that he doesn’t really let the hate get to him. He kind of uses that disability, I guess you could say, to his advantage. He laughs about his disability rather than feel sorry for himself, which I think is a really cool, strong move and he kind of teaches Billy that like, ‘This is the most fuckin’ cool thing that you could ever have! Dude, embrace the shit out of this!’
Q: You’re wearing an Aquaman shirt. Is that costume or is that just…
Grazer: I wish it was mine! Hopefully, it can be mine.
Q: But you’re in character, in costume?
Grazer: This is my wardrobe, yeah.
Q: Talk a little bit about filming the convenience store scene. We saw the stuff, so you are basically filming him and telling the bad guys ‘Keep shooting him.’
Grazer: Yeah! To test his powers.
Q: Can you talk a little bit about filming that scene and how much fun it was?
Grazer: That was the first scene we shot. That was the first scene I’d ever shot with Zach and it was really, really fun to finally, because the anticipation was so high, to finally work with Zach and it was really, really, really, really fun.
Q: We also got to see the clip of you guys getting beer, which is right in the comic. Were there moments when you were reading the comic that you were thinking ‘I hope we get to actually do this scene,’ or ones that maybe you didn’t get to choose?
Grazer: Yeah. Well, I didn’t read [the comics] until like a month into production. Not the greatest idea, but I did, and I was like, ‘Oh my God! This is identical!’ I was so clueless, but yeah, it’s really cool to look at [the comics] and I’m like, ‘I’m doing that!’ It’s really cool.
Q: Billy’s kind of, it seems like he’s more of a jerk in the comic than he may be in this incarnation or I’m assuming that Billy and Freddy maybe still having a bit of a falling out when Billy’s not so hot on being a superhero.
Grazer: I feel like Billy’s nicer when he’s Shazam. I don’t know what that means. I get it, though, because he’s being brought into this foster home and he doesn’t really feel like he wants to embrace anybody because he’s like, ‘I don’t want to be here.’ That’s understandable. So he does have his moments.
Q: Does Freddy have a ranking of his favorite members of the Justice League?
Grazer: Superman is the number one.
Q: In It, you worked with a bunch of kids. You guys were all kind of bonded and got together. Now in this film, you’re doing something very similar. You’re working with another group of kids. Can you explain how that experience is maybe similar or different in this film versus It?
Grazer: It’s really similar. I think in It, it was more of a brotherhood type of, I mean also Sophia [Lillis], but it was more of like a brotherhood type of bond, connection type thing than in this. It’s more like a family. We’re working together as a family. But [for It], it was more of like a really, really strong friendship. So yeah, there’s that kind of difference, but overall it’s kind of the same triumphant story of, you know, Freddy has a disability.
Q: You’re acting opposite two actors who are essentially playing the same role, so can you just talk a little bit about what it’s like from your perspective or from your character’s perspective, he’s the same person, but maybe a little different?
Grazer: It’s really cool! I worked on a show called Me, Myself and I and I got to see my older self and that’s really, really cool to have that other person emulate my mannerisms and the way I act. It’s really fun. I can’t really talk about that, but yeah, it is cool.
Q: Besides the New 52, was there any comics that you dove into for any influence?
Grazer: Yeah. I read the original Fawcett Comics. I glanced over them and it’s super different. I wish I could do that because I wanna wear the suit. I wanna be, well, *pfft* whatever (laughs).
Q: Is there a difference for you in being terrorized by Mark Strong as a supervillain versus being terrorized by Bill Skarsgård as a clown?
Grazer: Yeah. There’s a major difference. Bill Skarsgård was really, he’s a barbaric, evil clown that wants to eat me versus Mark Strong, who’s really intent and sophisticated and not trying to eat me.
Q: The third act is amusement park stuff. Talk a little bit about filming some of that stuff and how involved are you in all the mayhem?
Grazer: It’s really cool. It’s always really, really fun to shoot action-type fun scenes, like running from things and screaming because then you have a really good night’s sleep. You just worked out a lot. It’s really fun. I actually prefer shooting more intense scenes because it’s just really fun to get into like harsh character, anyway, yeah, it was really, really fun to shoot the carnival stuff.
Q: How’s Freddy different from you as a person?
Grazer: Great question. I’ve actually noticed along the way and also when I auditioned that me and Freddy are really similar and really quick and really ironic and witty and cynical. We both really don’t take hatred. We don’t take it in offense. We kind of use it to our advantage. It’s another opportunity for me to use a joke or roast someone when it’s not mean. I realized that we’re both really resilient and strong when it comes to getting bullied and stuff. And we’re both super confident and we’re also cool.
Q: How did you prepare for Freddy’s handicap? Did you practice using the crutch? Did you go and be with people who have to use one?
Grazer: I did. We called it stunt training, but it’s quote-unquote ‘stunt training.’ It’s not really stunts. I mean, it is, but I practiced walking on a crutch so it wasn’t looking like I was acting like I was walking on a crutch, like I was actually using the crutch to walk.
Q: You’re kind of the demographic for these films too, especially Shazam, which is kind of trying to appeal to a younger audience. How do you feel about comic book films and the genre as a whole? I mean, now that you’re a part of it, were you a fan before? Are you more of a fan now or do you feel like you have a broader understanding οf the genre?
Grazer: Well, it’s kind of like going to Comic-Con, let’s say, and then being an attraction at Comic-Con. It’s kind of like that. Like going to Comic-Con and being like, ‘Wow! These people are awesome!’ and then being those people that people say are awesome. One of my greatest dreams is to be in a superhero movie, especially DC because I grew up with DC. And it’s a dream come true. Even though I’m not Shazam, it’s a dream. It’s really cool. I’m livin’ it, so I’m really grateful.
Q: I’m curious, who’s ruined the most takes and why?
Grazer: Well today, Grace [Fulton] got yelled at a lot, but it wasn’t really her fault. Anyway, I mean it kind of was. It was. Don’t tell her I said that.
Q: What did she do?
Grazer: She had a lot of lines. She just, you know, she flipped up a little bit, but also there was camera work that was really involved and it was hard. She had to be on the phone.
Q: But besides today, you clearly are throwing her under the bus…
Q: So on other days, who ruined the most takes and why?
Grazer: Well, the stuff that we have to shoot outside, due to the fact that it’s freezing, our mouths get really cold and sometimes we can’t enunciate we’re like ‘Woah! Shazam! You’re so *flubs lips*’ And I can’t talk and then we both just start laughing and it’s so funny. I feel like we’re pretty professional on this set.
Q: Does that go for David, too? How is he as a director?
Grazer: Oh, he’s great! He’s really, really great. He really gives us room to just do our stuff and sometimes he just sits there and we’re waiting, we’re like, ‘You gonna say something?’ And he’s like, ‘It was good. It was good,’ That’s a good sign? That’s a good sign.
Q: I feel like every superhero now has the man in the van, the person who’s an expert who’s not actually there next to him. Do you kind of feel like that’s almost your role in this film?
Grazer: Yeah, kind of like a sidekick or his Alfred. I feel like Alfred in Batman, like I know everything. It’s like, ‘Yeah, he’s gonna be hiding there and he’s gonna be over there.’ Because I know all about this and I plan everything out. So yeah, I do feel like that. It’s pretty cool.
What do you think of Jack Dylan Grazer’s comments? Would you like to see Superman and Shazam team up? Sound off in the comments section below!
We all have a superhero inside us, it just takes a bit of magic to bring it out. In Billy Batson’s (Angel) case, by shouting out one word—SHAZAM!—this streetwise 14-year-old foster kid can turn into the adult Super Hero Shazam (Levi), courtesy of an ancient wizard. Still a kid at heart—inside a ripped, godlike body—Shazam revels in this adult version of himself by doing what any teen would do with superpowers: have fun with them! Can he fly? Does he have X-ray vision? Can he shoot lightning out of his hands? Can he skip his social studies test? Shazam sets out to test the limits of his abilities with the joyful recklessness of a child. But he’ll need to master these powers quickly in order to fight the deadly forces of evil controlled by Dr. Thaddeus Sivana (Strong).
Directed by David F. Sandberg, Shazam! stars Zachary Levi, Asher Angel, Mark Strong, Jack Dylan Grazer, Grace Fulton, Faithe Herman, Ian Chen, Jovan Armand, Cooper Andrews, Marta Milans, and Ron Cephas.
Shazam! will be released in theaters on April 5, 2019.
The Superhero Movies Of 2018, Ranked From Worst To Best
2018 has gone by too fast. It seems like yesterday when the beginning of the new year was upon us, and the advent of having so many superhero movies hitting theaters seemed like a dream come true for every fanboy and fangirl. It’s also funny to look back and remember that although we ended up with a whopping nine major theatrical superhero movies, we almost had eleven. Sadly, Fox delayed both Dark Phoenix and The New Mutants to 2019 instead.
Even with those two films delayed, 2018 was still a massive year not just at the box office, but for the continued advancement of the genre on a number of levels. Whether it was through the cultural significance of a film like Black Panther or the exciting animated adventures of Incredibles 2 and Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, there was no shortage of exciting superhero stories told on the big screen this year.
Here are the 9 theatrical superhero films of 2018, ranked from worst to best.
Yeah, Venom is an interesting film to say the least. Many have doubted Sony and their plans to create their own universe centered on Spider-Man villains that is said to be “adjacent” to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, especially after what happened with their proposed plans for a shared universe set within the canon of Marc Webb’s The Amazing Spider-Man films.
What director Ruben Fleischer brought to audiences is this bizarre, clunky, yet surprisingly entertaining throwback to the early 2000s era of superhero cinema. It has major narrative and technical flaws that keep it from being legitimately a “good” film beyond some moments of ironic brilliance, but Tom Hardy’s performance is one of the most entertaining comic book movie performances put on screen in a long time.
8. Ant-Man and the Wasp
It’s pretty hard to follow in the footsteps of such a massive crossover event like Avengers: Infinity War, but the microscopic (yes, pun intended) scale of Ant-Man and the Wasp is a nice lighthearted cleanser after witnessing Thanos’ decimation. It falls short of its 2015 predecessor, but director Peyton Reed still brings in some entertaining sequences that are a nice blend of action and comedy.
Both Paul Rudd and Evangeline Lilly have great chemistry, and the entire climactic chase sequence is pure delight.
7. Deadpool 2
2016’s Deadpool was the surprise hit of that year. While many hardcore comic book fans were excited to finally see a proper iteration of the Merc with a Mouth, the industry was particularly surprised by how mainstream audiences embraced Ryan Reynolds as the beloved antihero of the Marvel Universe.
Deadpool 2 continues that trend of self-aware comedy mixed in with the badass action directed by David Leitch. Unfortunately, the film falls into some of the trappings of a “more of the same” type of sequel, but put on a bigger scale. The film certainly could’ve benefited from a more clever script beyond just making everything bigger than the first. While the film never recaptures that lightning-in-a-bottle that the first film had, it still holds its own with some great character moments and perhaps the best mid-credits scene of all-time.
Plus, the additions of Cable (Josh Brolin) and Domino (Zazie Beetz) add more to the irresistible tone that Deadpool brings to the big screen. Overall, a decent sequel.
6. Teen Titans GO! To the Movies
It’s kind of funny that Teen Titans GO! To The Movies is as entertaining as it is. Sure, the film is still targeted towards younger children that tune into the series on Cartoon Network, but the film is a surprisingly clever send-up of both the superhero movie genre as well as a hilarious tribute to the lore of DC Comics seen through the eyes of the Teen Titans themselves.
Also, the fact that the film ends with a stinger that teases the possible return of the original Teen Titans series justifies its existence in more ways than one.
Aquaman is a much-needed win for the DC Extended Universe. The franchise received its biggest win in 2017 with Wonder Woman but unfortunately hit a massive roadblock with the disappointing Justice League. As it turns out, all the DCEU needed to do to get back in the right direction was to add water and filmmaker James Wan into the mix.
Wan really goes all out with this film. This is a visually stunning adventure film on both land and sea that really leans into the inherently cheesy nature of the character while simultaneously turning Aquaman into perhaps the most badass superhero in the DCEU thus far.
Some may be turned off by how campy Aquaman can get at points, but it’s hard not to get swept up into the fun when you have Jason Momoa having the time of his life.
4. Incredibles 2
It has been 14 years since we were last acquainted with the Incredibles. Thankfully, they haven’t missed a beat even after that long, long wait for the most-requested Pixar sequel of all-time.
It’s great to see Brad Bird bounce back with this exciting sequel after the earnest, yet disappointing mess that was Tomorrowland. Here, Bird is back on his element as a brilliant storyteller and is adept at further developing these characters.
Seeing the entire family in these hilarious and death-defying circumstances is so enthralling, particularly in the film’s climax. Also, everything involving Jack-Jack and Edna Mode are some of the funniest sequences of animation that Pixar has ever done.
3. Avengers: Infinity War
What else is there that needs to be said about this 2018 film? It really is the most ambitious crossover event in cinematic history, and it has sparked an entire year-long conversation about what our surviving heroes will be doing next after all the chaos.
Anthony and Joe Russo accomplished the near-impossible task of balancing out dozens of larger-than-life characters in this kaleidoscope of comic book beauty that leads to some of the most epic battles ever brought to the big screen.
Also, with Avengers: Endgame on the horizon, it’s going to be interesting if that film has a moment that tops the pure awesomeness that is the scene in which Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Groot (Vin Diesel) and Rocket (Bradley Cooper) arrive on the battlefield in Wakanda.
2. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
Who would’ve thought that an animated Spider-Man movie that features Spider-Noir and Spider-Ham on the big screen would be the best film centered on the webhead since Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man 2?
Leave it to the minds of Phil Lord and Chris Miller along with the incredible creative team to bring us a true love letter to the character that would make Stan Lee and Steve Ditko proud. Yes, Peter Parker will always be our original Spidey, but this film proves that the best part about being Spider-Man is the fact that he/she can come from anywhere despite their personal background and circumstances.
1. Black Panther
As big as Avengers: Infinity War was, it’s harder to find a 2018 movie that has had as big of an impact on the popular culture than Black Panther. But beyond the cultural significance that comes with such a film, Ryan Coogler crafted a powerful, touching story about legacy, family, principles, power and purpose.
It’s hard to log onto the internet sometimes because the world is in such a chaotic place. But Black Panther represents the power of storytelling and why seeing more diverse characters and stories on the big screen matters.
Films like Black Panther remind us about the power of cinema. It can unite audiences together despite their differences and can also inspire us to be better people. All those reasons and more are why Black Panther is the best superhero film of 2018.