Henry Cavill won’t be making a surprise appearance in Shazam!, a cameo that could’ve helped rehabilitate his performance. Cavill has been the iconic hero for the DC Cinematic Universe since his starring role in 2013’s Man of Steel, which kicked off the whole franchise. This contemporary interpretation of the son of Krypton has been continuously divisive, accused of being too dark and brooding, a lot of which, however unfairly, Cavill took flack for. His presence in Shazam! would’ve gone a long way to helping him re-frame perceptions.
Cavill was expected to appear in Shazam! until recent reports say there’s some disagreement between Cavill and WB as the studio looks to move in a different direction. Instead, they’re planning on replacing Man of Steel 2 with a Supergirl picture and putting a Superman headliner on the back-burner for several years, something that Cavill isn’t altogether satisfied with.
Rumors and have been swirling for months on whether Cavill’s Shazam! cameo would happen. The scene reportedly would have seen Superman approach Billy Batson in a post-credits style scene to let the new hero know he had his eye on him.
When the first trailer landed for the movie this summer, the response was near-unanimously positive, fans enjoying the comedic, light-hearted tone and self-awareness. Taking a leaf from Spider-Man: Homecoming, Batson is a fan of the Justice League and collects all the newspaper cuttings and various bits of merch that have spawned from encounters with the League members.
The whole thing is about why we look up to these heroes and what their responsibility is and the people they inspire. It’s the ideal place from which to begin re-branding the parts of this universe that many audience members weren’t too keen – in particular, Cavill’s Superman. Despite having been in three full-length features, this portrayal has yet to have that outing that isn’t rife with disagreement or controversy.
Justice League‘s reshoots were largely intended to bring about a brighter version of the character Warner Bros. thought audiences wanted to see, but in the end, the adjustments virtually robbed him of an actual character arc and turned the character into a meme thanks to the infamous mustache removal. The hoped-for Shazam! cameo could have been a proper reset, letting audiences see him through a 10-year-old child’s eyes. This Superman would be seen and interacted with by a little boy that adores him and now gets to live every kid’s dream of fighting alongside the Man of Tomorrow against the forces of evil.
These larger-than-life entities are meant for kids, first and foremost, and the spat of movies before now, bar Wonder Woman, has failed to capture or channel that energy. Shazam! is firmly going to be a family film, Aquaman looks like it’ll be suitable for almost all ages, as does Wonder Woman 1984. Wherever or not Cavill appears again in the blue suit and red cape, appearing alongside Shazam! would’ve been a good place to get us excited at the prospect.
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