The DCEU started out very, very serious, trying to ape the funereal tone of Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy. It’s chilled out a bit, especially since the dark-bordering-on-unpleasant Batman v Superman. The record-shattering Aquaman was light, and Shazam!, due in April, is a full-on comedic send-up of the superhero genre, as further evidenced by its latest (short) trailer.
Appropriately, the trailer acts as a send-up of portentous comic book movie ads, with intense action footage and bombastic music leading up to Chuck star Zachary Levi as our title character: a quip-heavy caped crusader who’s the superpowered alter ego of the teenaged Billy Batson (Asher Angel).
The source is a comic created in 1939, when the character was called Captain Marvel. (He’s not to be confused with Marvel’s Captain Marvel, nor the upcoming Brie Larson picture. It’s kind of a long story.) At one point, Shazam/Marvel was so popular that he outsold Superman, and he even inspired the first comic book movie, the 1941 Republic serial The Adventures of Captain Marvel.
The DCEU iteration looks like it will play up the comedic aspects of the source, offering up Shazam as a kid-friendly Deadpool. The trailer shows our hero trying to buy beer in the guise of his wise-cracking adult alter ego, and going to a realtor to buy a “lair.” There’s still plenty of requisite action footage to go around, plus a peak at villain Mark Strong — the English actor who’s played baddies so often that he parodied it in British car commercials.
The movie comes out April 5 — about a month after Captain Marvel, as it were. Below is the previous trailer: