By the speed of Mercury, we’re getting the live-action Shazam movie (formerly DC’s Captain Marvel) before Dwayne Johnson stars in Black Adam.
On Friday, Warner Bros. announced that Shazam, which will star Zachary Levi (Chuck) as the all-powerful superhero, will hit theaters on April 5, 2019. The film will be directed by Annabelle: Creation director David F. Sandberg.
As it stands, Shazam is now the fourth DC movie scheduled for 2019. The film joins Suicide Squad 2, Batgirl, and Black Adam, all of which were already on the schedule for 2019. Because of Shazam, it seems likely this schedule might change, but at the moment 2019 is going to be jam-packed with the DC movie universe.
Most interesting is that Shazam is now hitting theaters before Black Adam. The latter film, starring Johnson as Shazam’s Egyptian arch-nemesis Teth-Adam, was announced back in 2014. It was unusual for a project like Black Adam, which would have been the first film to feature anyone from the Shazam family of comics, to get green lit. Typically, a film starring the actual superhero are used to introduce spin-offs. But, then again, DC did go ahead and make a Suicide Squad movie.
At least order has been restored, now that Shazam is arriving before his biggest enemy.
In spite of the muted box office of Justice League, the confirmed release date of Shazam means DC movies still have legs. Aside from Aquaman coming this November, there is going to be an absence of DC superheroes at the cineplex, while direct competitor Marvel will release Black Panther, Avengers: Infinity War, and Ant-Man and the Wasp all this year. Behind-the-scenes shakeups for projects like The Flash movie Flashpoint and The Batman have also pushed those films into a distant 2020 release.
Shazam, formerly known as Captain Marvel, gains his power from shouting “SHAZAM,” an acronym for the Greek gods Solomon, Hercules, Atlas, Zeus, Achilles, and Mercury. Shazam was one of the most popular characters in the 1940s, even outselling Superman, though the Man of Steel was immortalized through a mega-popular radio show, which led into TV. Shazam was also the first superhero to be adapted into film, in 1941’s Adventures of Captain Marvel starring Ronald Davidson.
Shazam will be released in theaters on April 5, 2019.