The next DCEU movie has officially started shooting, according to director David F. Sandberg. He has shared the first set photo from Shazam to announce that production has officially begun. It's believed that Shazam! will have a lighter tone to what we have previously seen from the DCEU with Batman v Superman and Justice League, which is a welcome change. Sandberg has been open about his desire to make a lighthearted superhero movie with comedy injected into it while star Zachary Levi has likened the movie to a superhero version of Tom Hanks's 1980s classic Big.
David F. Sandberg posted the first picture from the set of Shazam! to his Instagram account, which in addition to announcing that the movie had begun filming, also revealed the working title "Franklin." The movie has an official release date of April 5th, 2019 and is starting production a little earlier than previously thought. Sandberg is clearly excited about the project and has been very vocal over the last handful of months when rumors began to swirl that he was not attached to direct the movie anymore.
Zachary Levi stars as Shazam! in the movie. The superhero is the alter ego of young child Billy Batson, who is portrayed by Asher Angel. Billy Batson comes across the Wizard (Ralph Cephas Jones) who grants Batson the ability to shout "Shazam!" and become the Shazam! superhero. However, when changed, the superhero still has the intellect of a young boy, which adds plenty of elements of humor and is more than likely where Levi's comparisons to Big meets Superman come from. Zachary Levi has already revealed that he's been having a blast in pre-production, so expect many more photos from the set to be released in the coming months.
Mark Strong is playing the villain, Doctor Sivana, and he admits that he took the role after having some "unfinished business" with DC. Strong was previously in the Green Lantern movie, which wasn't received very well. The actor had this to say.
''I'm playing an evil bastard called Doctor Sivana, they are always the best characters to play, the most fun. I was Sinestro in Green Lantern, which I thought was a rather good film, but it didn't do what they wanted. So I feel like I've got unfinished business in the DC world. I played a pretty evil character in that, and he was meant to get even worse in the second one but that never happened, but I think I'm going to get the chance to do that in Shazam!, I hope so.''
Mark Strong saying he's playing an "evil bastard" might be the only time that we've heard something that wasn't in the positive realm when talking about Shazam! It will be interesting to see the juxtaposition between the light and the dark in the movie and how David F. Sandberg chooses to play with that angle.
It's only a matter of time before fans get their first look at Zachary Levi as Shazam, which could happen any time now since production has officially begun. However, there is quite a bit of secrecy surrounding the project, so our first glimpse might take longer than wanted. At any rate, Shazam! has officially started filming and it looks like it's going to be a fun production. You can check out the production start announcement of Shazam! below, courtesy of David F. Sandberg's Instagram account.