But even though Sandberg is stretching his filmmaking muscles into new territory, he's still sticking to his roots. And according to the director, Lights Out and Shazam! exist in a shared universe.
Andi Osho is basically playing the same character in Lights Out and Shazam.
And Diana briefly dated Darkseid in high school. //t.co/G4YnAV3vPR— David F. Sandberg (@ponysmasher) December 23, 2018
Of course, Sandberg is joking, but he has talked about how he's using the tricks he learned while making Lights Out and Annabelle: Creation in his first big superhero movie. And as he himself states, Andi Osho's character is very similar in her two film appearances.
On an Easter egg level, yes. Also a character from Lights Out is in Shazam so you could argue they take place in the same universe. //t.co/oH1tCNESqe— David F. Sandberg (@ponysmasher) June 9, 2018
While Sandberg might be carving out his own cinematic corner, Shazam! does indeed take place in the DC cinematic universe alongside Wonder Woman, Man of Steel, and Justice League. Actor Zachary Levi confirmed as much in an interview with Entertainment Tonight.
"Our movie takes place very squarely in the DC Universe. In fact, I would argue that we’re kind of the most self-aware of it because the movies that we all watch — I mean, Aquaman and Wonder Woman, Batman, Superman — they're all basically documentaries in their world," said Levi. "These things, these are all real events that have happened. Batman and Superman fighting, Superman saving all of Metropolis, whilst simultaneously destroying the entire city — that all really happened."
When pressed for details, Levi refused to give up much though he did explain the movie's biggest influences.
"I can’t tell you much, as you can probably imagine, but what I can say is I am just out of my mind excited!" Levi said in a separate interview. "I get to do my version of Big, basically. It’s like Superman meets Big, and that's just so fun. I get to be a superhero that’s excited about being a superhero, and I think that’s refreshing. It’s not glum, and like, ‘Oh, I have to save the world again.’ So I think it’s all really gravy.”
Shazam! premieres in theaters on April 5, 2019.