“If I could battle anyone, I think Superman. I think that the Captain Marvel-Superman battle that we’ve seen repeatedly in comics before, and even in cartoons, I think that would be super awesome — pardon the pun,” Levi said at FAN EXPO Boston. “It would be very cool to have that matchup. And then we realize that we’re very evenly matched, because he’s very susceptible to magic, and then we bro it out. Then it’s like, ‘Oh my God, I have a mentor!’ I would love that.”
The Man of Steel makes a cameo appearance in the closing seconds of Shazam! when the star superhero, shot from below the neck, drops by the school attended by Billy Batson (Asher Angel) and superhero fanatic Freddy Freeman (Jack Dylan Grazer). Lines were scripted for Superman star Henry Cavill, who was planned to appear before a scheduling conflict prevented his involvement.
“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 says in the Shazam! Blu-ray commentary. “I was like, ‘what do we do now? We need an ending to our movie.’”
Sandberg filmed an alternative ending with the Shazamily before realizing a faceless Superman cameo, made possible with a Shazam stunt double, “worked really well.”
“I thought it was really funny,” Sandberg said. “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, [and] 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.”
Warner Bros.’ upcoming slate of DC Comics-inspired films includes Joker on October 4, 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. New Line is now developing Shazam! 2; Levi said in recent months the sequel is expected to begin filming in late spring or early summer 2020.