It has been over a week since Shazam! hit theaters, so while there are spoilers in this post, they are not plot-sensitive and filmmaker David F. Sandberg has apparently decided that the potential for spoilers is not great enough to dissuade him from sharing a look behind the scenes at his cameo from the DC superhero film. He revealed the cameo kind of gradually -- the character he appeared as in the film was a VFX-heavy role, so rather than just show a shot from the movie, Sandberg dropped a series of 9 process images, from taking a cast of his head to the final cameo in the film -- and then a tenth depicting a shot from the comics.
The image from the comics is by artist Evan "Doc" Shaner (he drew the Marvel Family in those Convergence: Shazam! comics), who also shared the post. He tweeted, "I don't want to go accidentally spreading spoilers but when the director of Shazam! includes one of my drawings from a billion years ago in a post I feel inclined to do so." While many directors elect to make cameos that are pretty minimalist, it is rare that a filmmaker will go so far out of his way as to make himself basically unrecognizable to anybody who does not already know what to look for. This one is pretty fun.
Here's where the spoilers are. What is the cameo? Well, as you can see in the Instagram post above, Sandberg plays one of a small group of suit-wearing crocodile men who appear in a scene late in the film. There are a number of doors to alternate worlds, and the crocodile men are found behind one of them. One of them gets up and charges at Shazam and his foster siblings, but they manage to close the door on him before he can come. The cameo is a fun Easter egg for longtime fans of Shazam!, but has potential to be even more than that, as Sabek -- a member of Mr. Mind and Dr. Sivana's Monster Society of Evil -- is also an anthropomorphized crocodile. Given that the movie ends with Sivana and Mr. Mind meeting for the first time, it would not be outside of the realm of possibility to think that we might see Sabek in a presumable second Shazam! movie.
Given that Sandberg has a history in horror -- and particularly in the same Blumhouse franchise as Aquaman director James Wan -- it is worth noting that he also has a kind of six-degrees-of-separation connection to the best Aquaman cameo -- that of Annabelle, the creepy doll from the Conjuring films. Not only did Shazam! have an Annabelle sighting, but the film did have another surprising toy cameo in the form of Hoppy, the Marvel Bunny.
Shazam is now in theaters; Joker arrives on October 4, Birds of Prey on February 7, 2020, Wonder Woman 1984 on June 5, 2020, and The Batman on June 25, 2021.
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