‘Shazam!’s David F. Sandberg & Peter Safran on Why Superhero Movies are So Popular

     April 6, 2019

With Shazam! opening in theaters this weekend, I recently sat down with director David F. Sandberg and producer Peter Safran to talk about making the DC movie. During the interview, they talked about why the comic book movie/superhero genre is so popular around the world, the Mark Strong boardroom scene where things got pretty violent, when they knew the ending of the film, how they’ve been able to keep some of the big secrets under wraps, what they learned from early screenings, and more. In addition, with Safran producing the with Safran producing The Suicide Squad sequel, I asked if that is really the title and if it’s a reboot.

shazam-imax-posterScripted by Henry Gayden (Earth to Echo) from a story by Gayden and Darren Lemk (Goosebumps), Shazam! tells the story of a 14-year-old boy named Billy who, when he shouts the word “SHAZAM!”, can turn into an adult superhero (Zachary Levi). Asher Angel plays Billy, while Zachary Levi plays the adult Shazam. It breakout Jack Dylan Grazer plays Billy’s best friend Freddy Freeman. Shazam! also stars Djimon Hounsou, Grace FultonFaithe HermanIan ChenJovan ArmandCooper Andrews, and Marta Milans.

Finally, I absolutely loved Shazam!. David F. Sandberg has crafted something special that both comic book movie fans and audiences of all ages will absolutely love. Not only is the film super fun, extremely funny and a big serving of unbridled wish fulfillment, Sandberg grounds the story around family and it’s unlike anything DC has done before. Shazam! is absolutely worth seeing in a theater.

Check out what David F. Sandberg & Peter Safran had to say in the player above and below is exactly what we talked about followed by the official synopsis.

David F. Sandberg & Peter Safran:

  • Why do they think comic book movies/superhero movies are so popular?
  • How much they got away with in the film in the boardroom scene with Mark Strong.
  • shazam-zachary-levi-david-sanberg

    Image via WB

    When did they know the ending for the film and what happens?

  • How hard has it been to keep the ending under wraps?
  • How quickly would they like to move ahead on a sequel if the film is successful?
  • The Suicide Squad talk and is it a reboot?
  • How did the movie change in the editing room and what did they learn from early screenings?

Here’s the official synopsis for Shazam!:

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).


Image via Warner Bros.

For more on Shazam!, check out the links below:

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