The films starring Zachary Levi are not the only audiovisual works that have focused on the peculiar superhero who brings together the best powers of the Greek gods.
Before the DC universe undergoes further alterations (such as the departure of Henry Cavill from Superman and the cancellation of Wonder Woman 3 by Gal Gadot) and an imminent reboot under the supervision of James Gunn (director of the suicide squad), his most recent installment focused on a mortal who receives the powers of the Greek gods and heroes, ohShazam! The fury of the godsis already on the billboard of Cinepolis and Cinemex.
While it’s true that the film couldn’t feature other superheroes as director David F. Sandberg had originally envisioned, the film is packed with references. From monsters to the symbolism of the golden apple, fans of ancient mythologies will be fascinated by the catalog of enemies that confront the Shazam family.
But for fans of this fun, charismatic and quirky superhero, there is a great nod to the classic television series of Shazam! which ran for three seasons on CBS in the 1970s. The program was starred by Michael Gray as Billy Batson, the young man who can instantly transform into the titular superhero by saying the magic word. And now, in the new movie, there’s a scene where Gray himself appears.
Throughout Shazam 2!, the protagonist (played by Zachary Levi and Asher Angel in his teenage version) reflects on his superhero name. At one point, in the middle of the battle with Calipso (Lucy Liu), part of the population shouts its support for Shazam. One of them calls him Captain Marvel, which could be an allusion to Brie Larson’s Marvel character, but that was actually Shazam’s original name in the pages of Fawcett Comics.
Just like Billy Batson in the 1970s TV show, this man also wears a unique red shirt with a yellow collar. As you’ve probably guessed, that’s Gray himself playing a Philadelphian and using “Captain Marvel” to refer to Shazam is a reference to the TV series, as that’s how the superhero was known on the show.
Shazam’s future has been unclear. James Gunn and Peter Safran have been drawing up the plans for DC’s content slate for the next few years. It seemed that a good reception and a box office performance could have convinced those responsible to continue with the story with Shazam 3!even if it didn’t directly tie into the new DC universe. But mixed reviews and lower-than-expected box office results may be putting an end to this superhero, at least for now.