HEAT VISION

Playful 'Shazam!' Trailer Brings Laughs to Comic-Con

Zachary Levi stars in the Warner Bros. superhero movie.

Warner Bros. showed off the lighter side to its DC Universe on Saturday.

The studio's Hall H presentation featured the first footage of Shazam!, the film described as Tom Hanks' Big meets a superhero movie and starring Zachary Levi as the adult superhero Captain Marvel. He's the alter ego of a young boy named Billy Batson (Asher Angel) who can transform into a powerful hero by uttering the word "Shazam!"

Director David F. Sandberg, Levi and other cast members appeared on stage to introduce the new trailer — and new hero — to the audience.

“This is complete wish fulfillment. This is 14 year old me that got to put on a cape and fly,” Levi told the audience. “This whole movie is about wish fulfillment.” And also about letting the inner child out; when the young cast playing Billy Batson’s foster brothers and sisters said that Levi was the biggest kid on set, he happily admitted, “that’s a fair assessment.”

According to Samberg, that’s the quality that won him the role; more than 100 people were auditioned for the role of Shazam, he said, but once Levi showed up, it was obvious he was the right fit because of his enthusiasm about everything. “He feels like a big kid,” he said. “Others would play him like, ‘Oh, I’m dumber now.’”

"I love that I get to be that child,” Levi said in response. “That there's still an optimism in him. That's why the Wizard picks him — because of his heart." That kind of attitude, he suggested, is one that fits in with the times. “I think that now more than ever, we need those types of heroes.”

With the introduction of Shazam into the DC movie universe, Levi took the opportunity to resurrect a familiar argument to comic book fans: Could the so-called Big Red Cheese beat up DC’s Man of Steel? Levi might be biased, but he shared that he was pretty confident that he could go toe-to-toe with Superman.

The film also stars Mark Strong as the villain. Shazam! is being sold as the antidote to some of DC's darker films, such as Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice and Suicide Squad. The Shazam! presentation came as Warner Bros. also showed off looks for Aquaman and Wonder Woman 1984.

Shazam! opens April 5, 2019.

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