With Shazam! finally in theaters, there's a lot to talk about. For one, it's just fun to be jazzed about another DC movie and the general consensus seems to be that this one is extremely enjoyable. But, as with any major comic book movie, there are deeper things to dig into. With this one, we really need to talk about that cameo from that major superhero at the very end.
Warning: major spoilers ahead for Shazam. Last chance to turn back. As was heavily rumored ahead of the movie's release, Superman does indeed appear at the end of the movie for a very memorable cameo. From the neck down. The most curious thing about the whole scene is that we don't actually see Superman's face, and there's a good reason for that. It's actually not Henry Cavill, who has been portraying the DC hero since 2013, playing the Man of Steel in this scene.
Before digging into why that is, let's recap what happens. Earlier in the movie, Freddy begs Billy to show up during school lunch as Shazam to impress his classmates. Billy, arrogant at the time, opts not to do so, which results in an ugly feud between the two. At the end of the movie, after things wrap up with a nice little bow, we see Freddy in the lunchroom, alone, before his adopted family shows up to join him, with an even bigger surprise on the way. Billy makes good on what he failed to do earlier and shows up as Shazam to eat lunch with Freddy to make him look cool. Not only that, but he brings a new superhero pal along with him in the form of Superman, who strolls in with a lunch tray in hand to the shock of everyone. Most notably Freddy. Credits roll.
It's a scene that serves as a great punctuation mark to the movie as a whole, but surely hardcore DC fans had questions. Why didn't we see his face? Was it Henry Cavill? If not, why wasn't he there? First off, there have been rumors swirling that Cavill will no longer be playing Superman in the DC universe. There has been a lot of conflicting information, but it doesn't necessarily bode well that Cavill didn't show up for this cameo. And he probably didn't take it very well, we would guess, that the producers had someone else in the suit. However, according to producer Peter Safran, in a recent interview, it all came down to scheduling.
"We had talked about it being Cavill. We were only shooting at that school during their school holiday, that was the only time we had access to it, and we just simply could not make the schedule work. We were going to, and we actually had more to the scene, you know, he sits down, they have a brief conversation. The truth is now, we wouldn't have it any other way than the way we have it because we love ending on a hard cut after Freddy's reaction. 'Cause that's what the movie's about, it's about Freddy's reaction to the fact that Superman is there serving him the meal. It's not really about the dialogue that we would have had afterwards. That would have been kind of a bit of a hat on a hat. So it worked out the way it should have."
Again, in context, the scene plays out great. Plus, it's worth noting that Henry Cavill has been shooting The Witcher series for Netflix. So he may well have been busy. Either way, it's important to know that yes, Superman is pals with Shazam and no, it was not Cavill in the suit. What does that mean for the future as it relates to the Man of Steel? Time will tell. This news was previously reported by IGN.