With production and distribution rights belonging to New Line Cinema and not Warner Bros, the question remains… Is Shazam part of the DC Movie Universe, or not? New Line’s Toby Emmerich made some comments a while back indicating that the character may become a standalone franchise that sits apart from any other built up Universe. But, alas, a new post from DC has now upset the applecart, suggesting that Shazam might actually be part of the DC Universe, alongside Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman. So, the ultimate question on our minds now ­– is if the character going to be an active group participant in The Justice League?

Here is a recap on how things have panned out thus far: After months of Dwayne “the Rock” Johnson teasing that he was going to be part of a DC Comics film, it was eventually revealed that he would be playing the villainous role of Black Adam – the main villain in Shazam. Then, Warner Bros included Shazam in their big DC Comics movie line-up announcement in October. However, Emmerich then distanced the character from the Cinematic Universe, commenting on the tone of the character and how he wouldn’t necessarily fit in with The Justice League. Here is what Emmerich had to say:

“It feels to me like Shazam will have a tone unto itself. It’s a DC comic, but it’s not a Justice League character, and it’s not a Marvel comic. The tone and the feeling of the movie will be different from the other range of comic book movies.”

Following Emmerich’s comment, DC Comics post said the following:

“For fans who were hoping to see a DC Cinematic Universe similar to what they’ve seen from other publishers, one that included super heroes other than Superman or Batman, there didn’t seem to be a lot to talk about. That changed on October 15, 2014, when Warner Bros. revealed a full slate of ten DC Entertainment feature films all set within the same universe.”

It’s one of those rather vapid ‘no-shit-sherlock’ posts that is merely reinstating what the fans already know. Thusly, it doesn’t confirm anything, nor does it detract from Emmerich’s comments. One thing is for sure though; DC seems to have slight communication problems within their staff hierarchy, as it seems their bloggers have no clue with what’s actually going on. If there is one thing about Marvel, it’s that their staff is pretty tight and kept ‘in the loop’, regarding news updates and so forth. However, the main thing to take away from the DC Comics post is that anything remains possible at the moment.


Shazam entering the DC Movie Universe could potentially have a huge effect on the Justice League Story, as he would become one of the most powerful characters within that Universe. The Shazam dilemma sounds similar to the Guardians of the Galaxy and The Avengers tie-in debate, as director James Gunn hasn’t exactly been the subtlest regarding his views in wanting to keep his movies within their own Universe; keeping the characters separate from The Avengers. Emmerich’s comments sound slightly familiar to Gunn’s points regarding the tonal differences being sound enough reason to consign Shazam to his own affairs – maybe being part of the DC Movie Universe in the grand scheme of things, but just not as part of the Justice League. Just like Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy, it could be something in the future that brings the character closer to the Justice League. This is all merely speculation, but it seems sensible to head in this direction, just like Neil Gaiman’s Sandman.

Matt Ryan

DC have a knack at making things rather complicated, what, with different characters playing different roles for both their Cinematic Universe and their TV Universe, yet seemingly making exception to this rule when it comes to certain actors. Matt Ryan from NBC’s Constantine (which hasn’t been renewed for a second season as of yet), has said that he would love to be part of the DC Cinematic Universe, stating:

“I’m not sure [about teaming up with bigger DC heroes]. The show’s make by Warner Bros., which has the deal with DC, and it’s licensed to NBC, so I don’t know the ins and outs of that work. But as an actor, how amazing would that be to do a crossover?”


However, this would of course be more specific to the Dark Universe (a.k.a. Justice League Dark), in which Guillermo del Toro has finished and handed in a script with the potential of directing the film. But, there are no details on a Justice League Dark release date, and it’s looking slim for Matt Ryan to break away from the TV realm to the Cinematic realm, as Guillermo has already made clear that the TV series will not affect the movie, saying:

“What I made clear to them is that the TV series will not affect the movie and they said that’s okay. They said you can have independence. Now, if we see the TV series and we can mesh with it or cast the same actor depending on where the movie is going, I would be happy to consider that.”

Shazam is happening, but we are still none the wiser as to whether it will be part of the DC Cinematic Universe or not.

What do you guys think? Should it be a standalone film whilst remaining loosely within the DC Cinematic Universe? Or should it be a solo affair?

Via – Film

Category: Comics, Film

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