When DC Studios chiefs James Gunn and Peter Safran announced the first slate for the new DCU franchise, the third Shazam movie was notably absent in the lineup although the duo also iterated that they might bring back Zachary Levi to play the hero again down the line if they plan to feature the character again.
For the past several weeks, we've also heard Levi and director David F. Sandberg play coy regarding the character's future in the new iteration of the DC franchise and they are hoping that they will eventually include it in the studio's future plans.
Right now, Warner Bros. and DC are finishing all the projects that they have left on the rest of the DCEU franchise before they segue into the DCU. Shazam! Fury of the Gods is among the films that they are releasing this year and is considered a "leftover" of the previous regime. However, it should also be pointed out that the film is also produced by Safran.
Now that the sequel is soon to be out in North American theaters, there are fans who are wondering whether the film does some set-up about the future of the DCU franchise or it is purely a standalone film that has no effect or bearing at all. Also, what does it take for DC Studios to include Levi's Shazam in the future?
In a recent interview with Deadline during the film's Los Angeles premiere event, Levi addressed the same question once again although he noted this time around that his character's future will be determined by the audience and the box office performance of the new film.
"It all comes down to what the people want," he said. "We made a great movie, I’m really proud of this movie, I hope everyone goes sees it, I hope they tell all their friends and family. That’s all I can do: I can show up and be the best Shazam that I can be."
Without spoiling the events of the film, there were some set-ups about the character's future in the franchise and the direction where the universe was going as well. After all, the first post-credits scene featured a character that has appeared in past DCEU projects and establishes that it is still part of the DCEU even if the film feels very standalone.
There is also another notable major DCEU character that appeared in the film that further established Shazam's growing presence in its universe. The character's appearance is certainly a sign that they were planning an interesting future for the DCEU and Shazam's role in it.
However, the film was made during the previous regime so it is most likely that it was for that iteration of the franchise and they decided to keep the scene even with the changes that are coming in the DCU.
Given the circumstance, it is hard to tell whether the events that they set up really matter or has any bearing on the new DCU franchise. All we can tell is that some set-up was happening and it will take a while before we find out if it all pays off.
Whether there was some set-up or not, the film was still worth watching. and it has a lot of thrilling and entertaining moments that you will enjoy regardless if they will matter later on or not. For now, let's just wait and see whether the film will have an actual effect on the future of the DCEU.
Also Read: Shazam! Fury of the Gods Star Eager To Team Up With The Suicide Squad
Shazam! Fury of the Gods is out in theaters this Friday. You can check more details about it here.