The debate over whether or not Henry Cavill's Superman would cameo in Shazam! plagued the Internet earlier this year, only for the Man of Steel to make a brief appearance in the film's final scene. Since the scene conveniently featured Superman from the neck down, fans have only just now learned that one of the film's stunt performers, Ryan Handley, was the one who donned the costume on set. A new behind-the-scenes photo of Handley as Superman has made the rounds online, which you can check out below.
Initially, the film had planned for a more substantial cameo for Cavill's Superman, only for scheduling conflicts to get in the way.
"At one point, we'd hoped it was going to be Cavill doing it, but unfortunately his schedule didn't allow him to do it," Shazam! producer Peter Safran told ComicBook.com. "We still wanted to do it anyway, and it turned out to be better, because it let us do a hard cut on Freddy's reaction, because if we had Cavill there, we'd actually written lines, they had a dialogue, but then it's a little bit of a hat on hat, because really what it's about is Freddy's reaction, so we got to get out on that."
“In the script, we had a little scene with Superman — but we only had a very narrow window to shoot this scene in the school, so we tried to make it work with Henry Cavill but schedules did not align,” director David F. Sandberg admitted in the film's commentary track. “I was like, ‘what do we do now? We need an ending to our movie,’ So we actually shot al little alternative ending in case we were going to use that where the kids see a hostage situation on TV and they just go out and fly off to deal with that, but it was like, ‘we don’t get the payoff with Shazam’s going to show up at school.’"
"So we did this thing with our Shazam stunt double in a Superman suit and we just cut out before you see his head." Sandberg continued. "And it worked really well. I thought it was really funny. At first I was like, ‘This is never going to work, this is going to feel cheap,’ but cutting out on Freddy’s reaction like that, I think is better than what we had originally planned. Originally Superman is supposed to sit down, talk to the kids, Freddy was going to be like ‘I have so many questions,’ and then we were going to cut out, but this sudden cut to the credits just works so much better.”
Upcoming DC movies include Joker on October 4th, Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) on February 7, 2020, Wonder Woman 1984 on June 5, 2020, The Batman on June 25, 2021, The Suicide Squad on August 6, 2021, and Aquaman 2 on December 16, 2022.