The DC live-action universe has had a rocky life in theaters, full of very high highs and disastrous lows. Luckily for Warner Bros., things seem to be on the upswing after the poor critical and box office performance of Justice League. DC is still surfing on the high of Aquaman‘s success, and anticipation is at a fever pitch for David F. Sandberg’s upcoming blockbuster Shazam!
Shazam! will hit theaters in a matter of days, bringing the dual-personal title character into live-action for the first time. The movie’s tone is in stark juxtaposition to Zack Snyder’s bleak dramas that started the universe. But according to Shazam! producer Peter Safran, that doesn’t mean that the DCEU won’t have dark and gritty installments. As he tells it:
Rather than trying to make one uniform movie, it looks like the DC universe will continue giving more power to the directors. As such, a dark movie will happen as soon as the story and characters call for it.
Peter Safran’s comments IGN are sure to be a relief to DC fans who enjoy all the darkness its stories have to offer. While Shazam! is light hearted, there’s been tragic stories for many of the characters on the page. Especially Batman, whose origin in based in trauma and childhood loss. The Dark Knight and others simply need to be dark, and have a ton unlike the two most recent releases.
In the same interview from Shazam!‘s red carpet, Peter Safrin directly addressed Batman and Todd Phillips’ Joker, which is expected to be a dark drama focused on a mentally ill villain. Safrin expanded his thoughts, saying:
So while Billy Batson and Freddy may have their childhood games in Shazam!, we shouldn’t expect the entire DC Universe to go family friendly. There are projects coming down the pipeline which should have their share of dark material, so the studio is going to have to flip between vastly different projects. In addition to Joker and The Batman, Birds of Prey (And The Fantabulous Emancipation Of One Harley Quinn) should utilize a mixture of drama and comedy. There’s also Wonder Woman 1984 to look forward to, although that Patty Jenkins has up her sleeve for the sequel is anyone’s guess.
Shazam! will arrive in theaters on April 5th. In the meantime, check out our 2019 release list to plan your next trip to the movies.