‘Shazam!’ Director Confirms DC’s Changing Strategy Didn’t Affect Their Plans For The Zachary Levi Film

Zachary Levi Shazam

Shazam! director David F. Sandberg and producer Peter Safran have confirmed Warner Bros.’ shifting strategy for the DC Films cinematic universe had no impact on the upcoming superhero film starring Zachary Levi.

In less than a week, Zachary Levi makes his debut as the magical superhero in the first-ever big-screen adaptation of the DC Comics character Shazam. The standalone film went into production just after the shake-up over at Warner Bros. which saw a massive overhaul and restructuring of its global theatrical and home entertainment operations with Chief Content Officer Toby Emmerich being promoted to Warner Bros. Pictures Group chairman, taking over for the former CEO Kevin Tsujihara. This included Warners restructuring its DC films division following the box office disaster that was Justice League which saw co-president of production Jon Berg replaced by The Conjuring and IT producer Walter Hamada.

Just over a month ago, the former CEO Tsujihara confirmed that the cinematic universe would not be as connected going forward as it was initially planned, with the studio concentrating their efforts on standalone films after the success of both Wonder Woman and Aquaman, though there is a chance we could still see another team-up film down the line. Speaking with SYFY Wire, Sandberg, along with producer Peter Safran were asked if the shifting strategy had any effect on their plans for the Shazam! movie when Sandberg explained that the film was set to be a standalone adventure focused on the magical superhero from the very start, leaving no impact on the Zachary Levi-led film:

“No, because we always wanted to just focus on telling [Shazam’s] story. There was never any mandate to set things up for the future or incorporate certain things, it was just [to] make the best Shazam! movie. And then, since it’s set in the world of DC, we could peek out and put in all these references and easter eggs and make it feel that it really is in that universe while still being its own story.”

To see the full interview with the Shazam! cast including Zachary Levi, as well as director David F. Sandberg and producer Peter Safran, check out the video below!

Are you excited to see Zachary Levi make his superhero debut in Shazam! Let us know in the comments below!

David F. Sandberg (Annabelle: Creation) has directed Shazam! from a script written by Henry Gayden and Darren Lemke. Shazam! is being produced by New Line Cinema in conjunction with Warner Bros. and DC Entertainment. Peter Safran produced the film along with Dwayne Johnson, Christopher Godsick, Jeffrey Chernov, Dany Garcia and Hiram Garcia serving as executive producers.

Shazam! stars Asher Angel, Zachary Levi, Mark Strong, Jack Dylan Grazer, Grace Fulton, Ian Chen, Jovan Armand, Faithe Herman, Cooper Andrews, Marta Milans and Djimon Hounsou. Here’s the official synopsis for DC’s Shazam!:

“We all have a superhero inside us, it just takes a bit of magic to bring it out. In Billy Batson’s (Asher Angel) case, by shouting out one word—SHAZAM!—this streetwise 14-year-old foster kid can turn into the adult Super Hero Shazam (Zachary 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).”

Shazam! will be released in theaters on April 5, 2019, and will be followed by Birds of Prey (And The Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) on February 7, 2020, and Wonder Woman 1984 on June 5, 2020. A standalone Joker film set outside of the DC Films universe starring Joaquin Phoenix as the Clown Prince of Crime is also set to hit theaters October 4, 2019.

Source: SYFY Wire

Top Actors To Replace Ben Affleck In Matt Reeves’ ‘The Batman’

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Batman Ben Affleck Matt ReevesBen Affleck is officially out as Batman and it's a pretty sad day.

Words cannot describe how sad I am to see Ben Affleck announce that he's no longer Batman. His Batman is why I do what I do. In Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, I fell in love with his comic book-accurate interpretation of the Caped Crusader. It was a breath of fresh air and it felt like we finally had the one true Batman.

Three years have quickly sped by and we're officially going to receive a new Batman for his next movie. Last night, Ben Affleck announced that he will not return as the Dark Knight in Matt Reeves' The Batman and now everyone's attention has moved towards wanting to know who the next Bruce Wayne will be. Matt Reeves is said to want an actor that's around 20 years younger than Affleck while Warner Bros. wants someone older. My guess is that Reeves wants a fresh start while the studio wants an older actor for crossover potential.

In this list, I will discuss the actors I think can replace Ben Affleck as Batman using the parameters that Matt Reeves and Warner Bros. want. Hit Next to see our picks to play the Batman.

Michael Fassbender

Michael Fassbender X-Men

Michael Fassbender is an X-Men alum and no stranger to comic book franchises. The actor has shown multiple levels of range and could definitely handle the Batman/Bruce Wayne personality. If they go with the older range for the next Dark Knight, then Fassbender is probably one of the best choices to take over the role.

Ben Barnes

The Punisher Ben Barnes Billy Russo Jigsaw Marvel

Ben Barnes is out of a job after The Punisher season 2 and he's one of the best actors in that series. The second season tied up Barnes' arc on The Punisher and the actor has already told us that that he'd love to play the Caped Crusader. Barnes definitely has the pretty boy look going on for him and I wonder what his take on Bruce Wayne could be.

Ryan Gosling

Ryan Gosling Blade Runner 2049

I've said this before and I'll say it again: Ryan Gosling needs to star in a superhero movie. I've always thought Gosling would make a great Batman. Every role that he's done has shown us his capability and he could crush it as Bruce Wayne.

Jon Hamm

Jon Hamm Mad Men

Jon Hamm is my top choice for an older Batman. If Warner Bros. wants to cast an older actor for crossover potential, Jon Hamm is the studio's best bet. He has a similar look to Ben Affleck, and c'mon, the guy's look just screams Bruce Wayne.

Armie Hammer

Armie Hammer The Man from U.N.C.L.E.

Armie Hammer is 32 years old and was cast as the Caped Crusader in George Miller's Justice League: Mortal. That film will never see the light of day, but that doesn’t mean that Hammer doesn't deserve a second shot at being the Batman. He's charming, broody and will probably give his all for this role. Armie Hammer is a great option because he's young enough for Matt Reeves and Warner Bros. could work in a way for him to crossover with the rest of the DC Extended Universe.

Richard Madden

Richard Madden Bodyguard

Game of Thrones alum Richard Madden is my top choice to replace Ben Affleck as Batman. The actor is young, has the look and definitely has the acting chops to play the duality of Batman and Bruce Wayne. Madden just won the Golden Globe for Best Actor in a Television series for the BBC drama Bodyguard, so Warner Bros. may want to quickly snatch him up.

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Michael Mistroff

Michael Mistroff

News Editor, Film/TV Reporter at Heroic Hollywood.