We have yet to see a trailer for WB’s Shazam! that we don’t love. The character with the lightning-bolt chest, played in adult form by Zachary Levi, is actually Billy Batson, a small boy who has the ability to turn into Shazam. He’s still Billy inside, and if you were a kid who could turn into a grown-up — a superhero no less — what would you do first? Billy does what we all would’ve done…..
While most comic book superheroes were originally marketed to children, Shazam! was the comic that made it explicit. The central character was a literal child that obtained the power to turn into a full-fledged adult superhero, living the dream of every pint-sized squirt reading the rag.
Said character’s super-alias was originally Captain Marvel, and remained so until very recently. As you know because you’ve seen the trailers and ads, Marvel also has a Captain Marvel, and the existence of the two characters led to a trademark dispute that lasted generations. This was the decade DC finally surrendered, but they had an easy out.
The comic Captain Marvel starred in was called Shazam instead, after the word Billy Batson had to shout to turn into him. This led to people all over the world mistakenly calling the character Shazam. To end the dispute over the Captain Marvel name, DC just literally made the “Shazam” name canon.
Shazam! will be out from Warner Bros. Pictures April 4.