It’s been a year since Shazam!, directed by horror-genre filmmaker David F. Sandberg and starring Zachary Levi, came out. Even before release, people figured Superman would have some kind of cameo, which he did, but a stuntman – filmed from the neck down – filled in for Henry Cavill.
Cavill was busy in Hungary working on The Witcher and couldn’t strike a deal in time to film the short bit where Billy finally keeps his promise to Freddie, showing up at lunch in his hero form and upping the ante by inviting his other “friend,” Metropolis’s Man of Steel.
Shazam! is streaming now on the newly launched HBO Max. Sandberg, at home, called it up at the end sequence where Superman walks in carrying a tray and found a way to work Cavill in by peculiarly adding the actor’s face.
“I know a lot of you asked for this but I’m not so sure this is an improvement. But hey, at least you can stop messaging me about it now.”
It’s pretty funny but also a little weird. Just watch:
I know a lot of you asked for this but I’m not so sure this is an improvement. But hey, at least you can stop messaging me about it now. pic.twitter.com/Y4BdiJ2MjE
— David F. Sandberg (@ponysmasher) May 29, 2020
As you can see in the clip, Sandberg humorously adds the abilities of Mr. Fantastic and Plastic Man to Supe’s arsenal.
Obviously, it was an exaggerated effect superimposing an image of Henry Cavill’s head cropped from a Man of Steel still. Funny or not, it’s no substitute for how cool actually seeing Cavill in the film would’ve been.
Cavill’s absence in Shazam! didn’t help quell rumors at the time that he was gone from the DC Extended Universe and never coming back. However, those rumors have now been replaced with new ones that is having negotiations and possibly close to a new deal with Warner Bros. that may find him returning as soon as the next Shazam! movie.
Other rumors contend his Superman will slug it out with Black Adam down the road although not before the Justice Society tango with him in the upcoming Dwayne Johnson vehicle meant to launch another franchise.
Henry Cavill might also be in a Man of Steel follow-up directed by J.J. Abrams under his first-look deal with Warner, but that is another story.
Shazam’s world, meanwhile, is growing into its own pocket shared universe which is fitting and strange. The first film ties into the continuity created by Zack Snyder and feels like a vestige in a way of a bygone era.
What Snyder built is coming to fruition in his cut of Justice League announced for HBO Max yet Shazam! the franchise will exist as its own thing with or without a Justice League sequel or MOS2.