**Warning Spoilers for Shazam! Below**
Does Superman show up in David F. Sandberg’s Shazam!? It’s a pretty big question and the answer was much rumored leading up to the film.
Even Shazam! actor Zachary Levi addressed rumors back in February when he stated he had never even met Superman actor Henry Cavill.
Because I’ve never met him. 🤷♂️ https://t.co/IAogjm1Xrv
— Zachary Levi (@ZacharyLevi) February 22, 2019
However, the idea of a Superman cameo in Shazam! had taken hold and a number of fans were not buying Levi’s explanation that he had never met Cavill.
Does Superman Show Up in Shazam!?
But we finally have an answer now that the movie had an early screening on March 23rd.
The short answer: Yes
The longer answer might be more complicated.
In the final scene of the movie, Superman shows up alongside Shazam! to meet superfan Freddy Freeman at lunch.
Earlier in the movie, Freeman promised his classmates he knew Shazam!, and he would meet him for lunch. Shazam! never showed and his classmates thought he was a big liar.
However, the Superman cameo is a little more complicated than him just showing up for lunch.
Superman does appear on screen with Shazam, but we only see a body filling out the suit. The camera never pans up so the audience could see his face. And this was my initial excitement at the scene which turned quickly to bewilderment. I expected to see Henry Cavill when the camera panned up. But it never did. It just cut to the credits.
Will the Real Superman Please Stand Up?
It’s more than likely that is not Cavill in the suit since we never see his face. However, Superman does show up, but it might not be the character who has been in three DCEU films thus far.
Henry Cavill’s portrayal as Superman has been widely praised. However, the characterization of Superman has been quite mixed. Since the character was introduced in Man of Steel, many saw him as a darker version of the Richard Donner film version. The Zack Snyder films showed us one who had little regard for the people surrounding him when he fought. Buildings falling, lives lost. The Donner version would lead the fight away from civilians, and would be catching any falling debris from landing on innocents.
In Shazam!, it was like being reintroduced to the Donner version. Except this is now through the innocence of a young boy. Especially in seeing his progression from a selfish kid to a real hero. Now, for Cavill to show up in a film with this more wholesome, lighter tone, I think would be a return to those Donner roots of the character; maybe even be a better beginning for his Superman going forward.
And it’s quite possible the Superman we see in Shazam! is a different version of Cavill’s Superman. While Shazam! and the Marvel family are attempting to flee from the clutches of Dr. Sivana on the Rock of Eternity, they happen upon a room that has multiple doors. The family opens up a number of the doors that could potentially lead to alternate dimensions or universes.
It’s possible the universe Shazam! inhabits is different from the one in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. In fact, it’s hard not to see it that way as the Justice League is lionized with toys and merchandise. It’s hard to imagine kids wanting to buy Batman toys after he was made out to be a cold, ruthless villain in the eyes of the public in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.
Time (And Money) Will Tell
Although we didn’t get to see Cavill in the suit, it doesn’t mean we won’t ever get to see him wear it again. There may have been some scheduling conflicts keeping him from filming. Cavill is working on Netflix’s Witcher series. But if the movie does well enough with audiences, it’s hard to imagine DC and WB execs not knocking on Cavill’s door to make a genuine appearance for upcoming Shazam! films.
And that could be a way for the DCEU to tie in to its other properties, without all the darker tones of its former films.
But for those of you who saw Shazam! early, what did you think of Superman’s cameo? What do you think it will mean for the future of the character, and for the future of DC films? Sound off in the comments below or let’s talk about it on social media!