After the inception of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, serialized storytelling and shared universes have become commonplace. DC has its answer with the DCEU, which has had varied success with its first batch of blockbusters. And while DC doesn't have a public release schedule, one of the films definitely coming down the line in David F. Sandberg's Shazam!, which seems like a fun and youthful departure from Zack Snyder's original grim world. But they still exist in the same universe, with the first images of both the title character and Billy Batson recently breaking the internet, and containing the first set of DC easter eggs. Sandberg recently confirmed one such easter egg: a TIME magazine covering the massively destructive Battle of Metropolis in Man of Steel. You can check it out below.
After being asked about the TIME cover on Twitter, David F. Sandberg was happy to provide a more detailed look at the image. The wake of the "alien invasion" from Krypton has been felt in subsequent movies like Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, but continuing this through line into the DCEU's future is a great way to build a world, and inform the shared universe.
Narratively, it makes sense for the TIME cover to come into play, especially as its related to supporting character Freddy Freeman (IT actor Jack Dylan Grazer). Freddy is protagonist Billy Batson's best friend, and is obsessed with all things superheroes. As a kid in a world full of characters like the Justice League and Suicide Squad, you can't really blame the kid.
This youthful perspective and sense of hope is one of the main draws surrounding Shazam! While the DCEU isn't known for its levity, Shazam! looks like a bonafide comedy, and told through the eyes of 14 year olds. Superhero movies largely benefit from this childlike wonder, as the nostalgia that full grown adults feel while watching their favorite hero on the big screen helps sell tickets. And with David F. Sandberg's upcoming DC blockbuster paying homage to previous movies, there's a lot to look forward to with Shazam!
Shazam! will star Zachary Levi as the title character-- a superhero actually inhabited by 14 year old Billy Batson. We'll see the origin story as Billy comes into his new abilities, likely with more joy than any new hero we've seen in the shared universe thus far. DC is hoping a win after the poor performance of Justice League, so the pressure is on to deliver another win of Wonder Woman proportions.