03/18/2019 04:26 pm EDT
Shazam! director David F. Sandberg and producer Peter Safran are planning to return with a sequel. The film is still years away as the first installment to the Shazam! franchise is yet to be released but positive early buzz already has fans, critics, and filmmakers thinking "sequel."
In an exclusive interview with ComicBook.com, Safran and Sandberg both confirmed their plans to return to make another Zachary Levi-lead Shazam! movie. Shazam! is Sandberg's first time working within the world of DC Comics on the big screen or super hero films in general. "Absolutely," Safran said when asked if he would be around for a Shazam! sequel.
"It's easy for me to say, 'I'm on board,'" Safran said before posing the same question to Sandberg beside him. "What about you?"
"Let's do it," Sandberg said.
"You heard it here!" Safran concluded.
Looking ahead at the future for DC Comics characters on the big screen, the sense of isolated efforts will be more present than it had been in the past. Shazam!, for example, follows the lead of Aquaman and Wonder Woman before it in focusing solely on its titular hero as a means to thoroughly establish him on the big screen. Moving forward, this will continue to be a focus.
"I think that is the goal," Safran said. "It is giving heroes their time to shine and not feeling like you have to shoehorn in some universal connection amongst them all. The studio's been incredibly supportive and DC's been supportive about saying, 'Take the time that you need to introduce these characters in the right way and tell the stories that audiences want to see with these characters.'"
Of course, the success of Shazam! in terms of the praise it is earning on social media from early screenings is due in large part to the vision from its director. Having a background in horror with the Annabelle franchise, Sandberg not only flexed his comedic chops with Shazam! but also brought his familiar horror vibes back to the big screen.
"The goal was to set up the bad guys as a real threat," Sandberg said. "So, when the kids are threatened, you believe it like they could actually get hurt or even die. I think that's really important in a movie to really set up the stakes and stay true to that."
The film stars Zachary Levi as the titular Shazam! hero. Acting as Shazam's human counterpart is Asher Angel as Billy Batson, supported by Jack Dylan Grazer as Freddy Freeman, Mark Strong as the villainous Dr. Sivana, Djimon Hounsou as The Wizard, along with Cooper Andrews, Marta Milans, , Ian Choi, Faithe Herman, Jovan Armand, and Grace Fulton. It is executive produced by Jeffrey Chernov, Hany Garcia, Hiram Garcia, and Dwayne Johnson.
Shazam! hits theaters on April 5, 2019.