This year, 2019, is the year of Captain Marvels with the release of Captain Marvel in March and Shazam! in April. However, the DCEU won’t be using the Captain Marvel moniker opting to call Billy Batson’s alter-ego Shazam and director David F. Sandberg talks as to why they couldn’t use the original name.
Asked on Twitter by Andy Richter about why they can’t call Billy Captain Marvel, Sandberg replies:
What’s interesting is, the first and original Captain Marvel is actually Billy Batson, and he was created sometime in the 30s. Meanwhile, Mar-Vell (not even Carol Danvers) was created 30 years later in the 60s. I guess Marvel just decided to trademark the name earlier, leaving DC to settle for Shazam.
Though I agree that there could be some character confusion with both movies coming out so close to each other, I’m curious how the film will explain Billy’s Shazam identity to other characters. I mean, “Shazam” is supposed to be the secret word that transforms Billy. If people said his name, would that make them transform too? I guess the “Shazam” thing will only work for Billy, but I really liked the idea of it being a ‘magic’ word.
Then again, I guess I’m having too much of a fuss over nothing. The movie looks great, and after April 5 we’ll see which Captain Marvel comes out on top.
We all have a superhero inside us, it just takes a bit of magic to bring it out. In Billy Batson’s (Angel) case, by shouting out one word—SHAZAM!—this streetwise 14-year-old foster kid can turn into the adult Super Hero Shazam (Levi), courtesy of an ancient wizard. Still, a kid at heart—inside a ripped, godlike body—Shazam revels in this adult version of himself by doing what any teen would do with superpowers: have fun with them! Can he fly? Does he have X-ray vision? Can he shoot lightning out of his hands? Can he skip his social studies test? Shazam sets out to test the limits of his abilities with the joyful recklessness of a child. But he’ll need to master these powers quickly in order to fight the deadly forces of evil controlled by Dr. Thaddeus Sivana (Strong).
Catch Shazam! in theaters April 5.