Does Superman Appear in the “Shazam!” Movie?

By Scotty V

If you’ve paid any attention to me at all over the last few years, even though I’ve been a bit absent from the Homepage, you’ll know I’ve always preferred my superheroes somewhat serious. That’s often put me at odds with many other fans who argue that superhero stories should be light, fun and happy tales that make children smile and adults remember what it was like to do so. Shazam! is a film I think many will agree fits that description.

While this isn’t a review of Shazam!, as this isn’t the “Once Upon a Time he was Captain Marvel Homepage,” but since I did end up going to see the film I can tell you that I thought it was fantastic. I went on a whim and because I had some unused “movie club that shall go unnamed” passes I didn’t want to lose and I’m very thankful I did. If you’re one of the fans who just wants to escape and have a great time smiling ear to ear through most of a film with humor that works, emotion that hits at the right time and heart that fills you with joy, Shazam! might be the movie for you.

Plus, as an added bonus, and since this is the Superman Homepage, there’s quite a little extra what what towards the end of the movie. Now you may already know about this, but if you don’t and if maybe the title of this article didn’t already give it away then scroll away now, click away now… for The Wizard’s sake please don’t read any more! But seriously, we Superman fans know that our Man of Steel in a slightly altered suit makes an appearance in the lunchroom of the now Philadelphia school called Fawcett High.

You see, in what feels to me as a first for the DCEU, one of the DC heroes is given a real world home city location and that city is also my hometown… Philadelphia. Fawcett Comics was once the proud owner of the character previously known as Captain Marvel, and so naming the school in honor of that history seems apt. There are also some other great Golden Age shout outs, cameos and call-backs so that’s something else to look forward to.

But I digress, I’m here to describe Superman’s appearance in the film. While Cavill himself does not appear in the movie, (something about a contract that was only good for three films and the idea that Warner might be moving away from what started as a more gritty take on its famous heroes), Superman certainly does; or at least, his body does. Billy Batson, in his more powerful form as the character who calls out “Shazam” to become a superhero, shows up to rebuild Freddie Freeman’s reputation after Freddie earlier promised the hero would show up but then Billy failed to do so.

Then, in perhaps what was meant to be an unexpected cameo, Billy announces he’s brought another friend to lunch and, in walks Superman. At first we see the character from the side, waist to shoulder and while we do, there’s a tiny, listen to something else and you’ll miss it (which I did while in the theater), bit of John WIlliam’s Superman Theme. It’s certainly not loud and boisterous, but it’s there, and it’s humble and respectful.

The camera spins around to show us the awed children in the lunchroom, shocked as they might be by a Venusian Space Worm seeing the surprise visitor from another planet. The camera shifts back to Freddie’s table, where Billy’s magical hero sits on one side of Freeman and Superman comes to a stop on his opposite side. In that moment, Superman turns to face the camera, preparing to sit, and though we still only see him waist to shoulder, a quick view reveals some added gold/yellow and red around the belt area of his iconic uniform. Superman stands for mere seconds and we see his lunch tray, containing a bottle of milk and some food and his full chest symbol. Freddie lets out a gasp and a yelp and then credits roll.

The music used for the credits was exciting and the doodles of other DC heroes accompanying the credits were charming. I personally was left wondering if maybe they should have left out the Superman cameo, since they didn’t show his face, although it seems almost symbolic that the powers that be could be trying to show that people are awed at what Superman stands for, and what he brings to the table, other than milk, rather than what his face might look like. Thinking it over, it could also serve as an explanation of why, perhaps, people don’t recognize him as another person. The personality, the regality and the presence so strong, children and adults alike lose their minds and can think of nothing else. I know I’ve certainly felt awed by the character in my tenure as a fan.

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Iluvsuperman88
Member
Iluvsuperman88

Smh!

Iluvsuperman88
Member
Iluvsuperman88

The problem DC has had though has been either to to serious or stupid. All I’m asking for is balance. Find a way for both. Be serious when it’s needed. Why does it have to be all serious and no joke or all joke and no serious. Just find a balance. Aquaman did great with balance. JS. I am surprised you seen this movie Scotty. I mean aquaman make one joke and u said you didn’t want to see it then you said Shazam looked silly. Glad you gave them a chance. Plus Aquaman and Shazam was serious when they… Read more »

redcape
Member
redcape

Well the tone of levity should be balanced off a particular scene(s) not the whole structure of the film. A past camp fest of total nonsense can’t be any more evident than what was tried in Superman3. It was way over board from the beginning to the end. Never want to see Superman’s character put in plot structure like that EVER again.

approuty
Member

Cool cameo. Maybe this is a hint to things to come?

I agree, keep things balanced is a great idea.

Superman2878
Member
Superman2878

I’ve had heard of this pseudo appearance. Wasn’t sure if it was true, now I know.

So with this somewhat cameo of Superman, is his suit back to the darker shade of blue? From what I could tell from the image,It looks darker than it did in Justice League.

Superman2878
Member
Superman2878

In my opinion, I think they just showed him for the sake of Shazam’s history with Superman. Superman was an influence for Billy to become a hero. I haven’t seen the film yet, but I’m guessing that that’s going to be the case here with that scene.

afriend
Member
afriend

I thought it was pretty cute… And if the Superman of the DC films has “turned the corner” from being needlessly dark (I stand by that assessment!!) then it was a refreshing play with the character.

sundevil82
Member
sundevil82

I enjoyed the cameo even if it wasn’t Henry. Let’s hope it gets people excited enough for the character for them to realize they should make another film. Just saw they’re already getting ready to announce a sequel for Shazam. Obviously something is holding up Superman, whether it’s failed negotiations or lack of faith in the character. I would love to see a new Superman movie taken in a new direction. I still want it to be serious, but moments of levity are welcome. There’s a big difference between moments of levity and camp/silliness. The jokes and humor in Aquaman… Read more »

LarGand
Member
LarGand

Honestly, the cameo just made me sad because it seemed to just confirm the fact that Henry’s out. Also, it was that too-glittery, shiny Justice League uniform. They should’ve just stuck with the more sombre ‘Man of Steel’ uniform, which just looks better to me. ‘Shazam’ was a fun, family comedy, and if that’s what you want then it delivers in spades. It was like watching an updated version of ‘Big’, with added magic, had some laugh-out-loud moments and a lot of charm. But honestly, for me, the superheroics were boring compared with the comedy side of the movie. I… Read more »

sundevil82
Member
sundevil82

Man I hope he’s not out, but that’s the way it’s looking. It seems odd that they would use his character in that cameo if they plan to scrap him. Why not just use Gal gadot or Jason Momoa?. I agree that it’s just sad at this point. Yeah Warner/Dc has a track record for taking the wrong things from these movies and try to paint them all with the same brush. I don’t mind a little levity, but some characters lend themselves more to seriousness than others. We just need a writer and director who knows how to balance… Read more »

redcape
Member
redcape

Could not agree more!!

redcape
Member
redcape

First off good to hear from you Scotty! Miss your segments here on SHP. So this was the big cameo of Superman we heard of in some of the rumors. One can look at this from a couple of angles. Why would they do this unless it wasn’t to keep Superman relevant? Didn’t improve the movie, just added a little something. But do we want to see Superman reduced to any level of adolescents? I don’t. We still haven’t heard ANYTHING solid from the WB/DC side of things regarding Superman’s future. At this point Cavill’s not OUT… but not IN… Read more »

sundevil82
Member
sundevil82

I feel at this point, they’re playing this out like the My did with Affleck with neither confirming or denying his involvement going forward. Eventually we found out what we all suspected, that Affleck was out. So I’m just waiting for the other shoe to drop any day now without henry, though I hope they work it out with him because I think he’s gotten the short end of the stick with his involvement. But as you pointed out, why involve Superman in the first place if he’s not going to be involved moving forward? Obviously we’re going to associate… Read more »

Iluvsuperman88
Member
Iluvsuperman88

Scotty V. Great to read about your point of view. Miss your great Scott segments.

JasEl
Member
JasEl

. I like the addition of the red and yellow around the belt, but it looks like they shrank the “S” sheild too, also It’s time they ditched the silver undersuit and the see through costume. Give me a solid color saturated costume

sundevil82
Member
sundevil82

Agreed.

Kal-al77
Guest
Kal-al77

I read that the initial plan was to have Henry Cavill do the Superman cameo at the school, but they couldn’t work it out with him schedule-wise.

Super Kal
Member
Super Kal

… well… at least the costume is nice 🙂

Superman2878
Member
Superman2878

It is I Superman2878! Ruler of Otisburg! Yes our esteemed General Zod has given me this honorary title! Ha ha ha! Lol, ok. Now that I have had some fun for this introduction for my review on the Shazam! movie, here it is. So I saw the Shazam! movie today, and I thought it was alright. I do think Aquaman was better though. I might be talking some Spoilers so I will repeat Spoilers at least three times so that whoever is reading this will know that there’s possibile Spoilers. But this post is mainly problems that I saw. I… Read more »

redcape
Member
redcape

Decent review!! Unfortunately and not trying to be overly negative, but with all that’s previously happened I don’t think we’re ever going to see the Justice League again. Even if it had done better at the box office, they gave little to look forward to in the way of any sequels. I think from here on out we’re only going to get single character stand alone movies.

Superman2878
Member
Superman2878

“with all that’s previously happened I don’t think we’re ever going to see the Justice League again.” I agree with that assessment redcape. Unless the people in charge of making these films say otherwise, I doubt we will be seeing the Justice League on film any time soon or ever again for that matter.

sundevil82
Member
sundevil82

Nice review. I also noticed the personality difference between billy and Shazam, but I didn’t let it take me out of the movies. I chalked it up to him being more outgoing and confident. Funny that you mentioned the sins and the family fighting being too much at the end. I’ve heard people saying that the fight lasted too long. Very similar to the criticism of the ending fight of Man Of Steel. I would agree that it probably went on a few minutes too long but I enjoyed it. I think was always intended to be directed more at… Read more »

Superman2878
Member
Superman2878

Ha ha ha,Casa Del Lex. That’s funny sundevil82.I got that one.
Lol

I am wondering how Shazam will do in the long run though. I heard that it had a big opening. But I’m wondering if it will start to decline in viewers, or will it maintain or grow in its audience.
I guess it’s just a matter of wait and see what will happen at this point.

Superman2878
Member
Superman2878

Thanks for the compliment sundevil82.

sundevil82
Member
sundevil82

It has good word of mouth so I think it will have legs until Endgame comes out. Even then I think it will remain in the top 5 for a while.

Superman2878
Member
Superman2878

Thanks for the compliment redcape.

Anthony_Mage
Member
Anthony_Mage

From what I heard – Warner Bros. allegedly did the Superman cameo for three reasons with them being 1: to show Cavil that they can and will move ahead with someone else as Superman if need be, and 2: if not Superman, they can always focus on Supergirl in her movie including another actor playing Superman there, and 3: to give and nod and wink to the fans come the real life lawsuit situation they had at one point in claiming Captain Marvel was plagiarising Superman, but I’m glad they eventually came to an agreement that let DC adopt Billy… Read more »

Superman2878
Member
Superman2878

“to give and nod and wink to the fans come the real life lawsuit situation they had at one point in claiming Captain Marvel was plagiarising Superman, but I’m glad they eventually came to an agreement that let DC adopt Billy into their comics,“

That’s interesting that you mention that. As I said before, I’m not a Shazam reader so I don’t know what goes on with all the legal stuff with that character. So it’s because DC bought the rights to Shazam and the movie was acknowledging that history?

JasEl
Member
JasEl

Watched it today, not bad. Definitely enjoyable. The cameo was a nice little addition even without the face being shown.

johnpinna
Member
johnpinna

I thought Shazam was a fun time. Not the greatest Superhero movie ever – but certainly not the worst.

Anyway, I REALLY wish Henry had done the cameo – it would have been an absolute home run…oh well.

MattComics
Member
MattComics

To greater or lesser degree I agree with Kurt Busiek’s assessment: it’s a good movie about Geoff Johns Shazam! but not really Fawcett Captain Marvel.

I think it would have been nice if they’d found a spot somewhere in the middle. Probably the oddest thing for me is that I can’t stand the New 52 inspired costume design on Billy’s superhero form but I think it looks alright on the rest of the family.