David F. Sandberg (“Annabelle: Creation”) directs New Line Cinema’s “Shazam!,” the origin story that stars Zachary Levi (TV’s “Chuck”) as the titular DC Super Hero, along with Asher Angel (TV’s “Andi Mack”) as Billy Batson, and Mark Strong (the “Kingsman” movies) in the role of Super-Villain Dr. Thaddeus Sivana. Peter Safran (upcoming “Aquaman,” “The Conjuring” and “Annabelle” films) serves as the film’s producer.

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).

“Shazam!” also stars Jack Dylan Grazer (“IT”) as Billy’s best friend and ultimate superhero enthusiast, Freddy, part of the foster family that includes Mary, played by Grace Fulton (“Annabelle: Creation”); Darla, played by Faithe Herman (TV’s “This is Us”); Eugene, played by Ian Chen (TV’s “Fresh Off the Boat”); and Pedro, played by Jovan Armand (TV’s “Hawaii Five-O”). Cooper Andrews (TV’s “The Walking Dead”) and Marta Milans (TV’s “Killer Women”) play foster parents Victor and Rosa Vasquez, with Oscar nominee Djimon Hounsou (“Blood Diamond”) as the Wizard.

Firmly set in the DC universe but with his own distinctly fun, family-centric tone, the screenplay is by Henry Gayden, story by Gayden and Darren Lemke. Shazam was created by Bill Parker and C.C. Beck. Christopher Godsick, Jeffrey Chernov, Dwayne Johnson, Dany Garcia and Hiram Garcia serve as executive producers.

Sandberg’s creative team includes his “Annabelle: Creation” director of photography Maxime Alexandre, production designer Jennifer Spence, editor Michel Aller and costume designer Leah Butler.

A New Line Cinema production, “Shazam!” is set for release on April 5, 2019. It will be distributed worldwide by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.

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Well, THAT didn't last long ...

Captain Comics said:

Is that the original MSoE story, or the modern update by Jeff Smith? And if it is the original, will it be bowdlerized? Inquiring minds want to know!

Not the first time this has happened. I'm destined to never read that story.

I get the reason why they're not going to republish this. Honestly, I probably wouldn't read it if they did, because I really don't dig anything from the Golden Age nor the Silver Age.

But still, I think it would be worth reprinting as long as they put a piece at the beginning about how it was a different time, and how racially insensitive it is and was, but to take it for the historical piece it is.

Then again, as a white 44-year-old man, I'm not the guy to really speak to what's fair. All I know is that--in a teaching classroom--I would use it during a discussion about how people used to actually think.

Captain Comics said:

Not the first time this has happened. I'm destined to never read that story.

Tricky isn't it? I've read the Jeff Smith version, but not the original. Obviously, DC doesn't want to create a firestorm of controversy, especially with a movie coming out, but there's no getting around the racism of past pop culture. You either have to avoid the old stuff almost entirely, or expect you're going to encounter some really offensive concepts.



Doctor Hmmm? said:

Well, THAT didn't last long ...

Captain Comics said:

Is that the original MSoE story, or the modern update by Jeff Smith? And if it is the original, will it be bowdlerized? Inquiring minds want to know!

I think the racism is all the more reason to publish it, especially -- as suggested here -- with some sort of explanation or acknowledgement at the front that it's not OK now ... but was then.

Because we need to remember our history. We ought to be uncomfortable looking at racist material from the past. We ought to be made uncomfortable about racist material from the past. Because we're not all that far from it, and could go back it. Progress is not assured.

"I'm destined to never read that story."

I wish I would have known you had never read it and wanted to. I actually had it with me at "CapCon 1." (Beechler wanted to see it and I loaned my copy to him over the weekend.)

Spot on, Cap. If I'm not mistaken the retail price on the book was $49.99, seems unlikely that a young, unsuspecting reader would be picking this up anyway.  Golden Age reprints are mostly of interest to older, hard core fans that are going to know ahead of time that there may be some material within that could offend.

Captain Comics said:

I think the racism is all the more reason to publish it, especially -- as suggested here -- with some sort of explanation or acknowledgement at the front that it's not OK now ... but was then.

Because we need to remember our history. We ought to be uncomfortable looking at racist material from the past. We ought to be made uncomfortable about racist material from the past. Because we're not all that far from it, and could go back it. Progress is not assured.

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