On a victory lap of sorts following its buzz-building panel, director David Sandberg and stars Zachary Levi, Asher Angel, and Jack Dylan Grazer told Yahoo Entertainment that they very much embraced the comparisons to Penny Marshall’s beloved 1988 supernatural comedy starring Tom Hanks. In fact they probably even started them.
“That’s what we’ve been saying, that it’s Big with superpowers, or Big meets Superman,” said Sandberg. “But it’s one step better than Big because he doesn’t just get [turned into an adult].”
Levi, likely sensing future headlines with that quote, quickly interjected: ”One step different than Big.”
Speaking of Superman, we also asked Levi and friends about where Shazam!, which clearly has a lighter tone than films like Batman v Superman and Justice League, fits into the greater DC Comics Extended Universe (DCEU).
“It sits squarely within the DCEU, in fact, I think that we’re the most aware of all DC movies in that we reference all of those,” Levi said. “Freddy Freeman [Grazer] is a huge superhero aficionado, and he’s got T-shirts and merchandise and things. And they’re all real, because all those characters really exist. And no other DC movies have been able to do that, to really point at the other ones.”
There’s even a hidden DC Easter egg in Shazam’s costume, Levi revealed: The wardrobe department “made these little button hooks to get to my zipper, because there was no dongle on the zipper. … So they made these little hooks and they were shaped like Batman and Joker,” he said. “Even in my ‘crotchal’ area we have Easter eggs.”
Shazam! premieres April 5, 2019.
Watch Zachary Levi on how the trailer answered skeptics of the film:
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