It sounds like the director of DC’s upcoming Shazam! movie is going to forgo one of the latest trends in movie making technology for a more traditional approach. Indeed, at the time of writing, the titular role of William Joseph “Billy” Batson remains vacant, though if Dwayne Johnson has his way, Warner Bros. Johnson, who is now attached to produce and star in a Black Adam movie, does hold a small degree of creative leverage in the DC Extended Universe, so it’ll be intriguing to find out if WB takes heed of the actor’s requests.
In an interview with Collider, Sandberg was asked if he was going to use VFX to de-age an adult actor or simply hire a child actor to play the alter ego.
For any fans who were anxious Shazam! wouldn’t do the core idea of a child-turned-superhero justice, you can now breathe a sigh of relief: the character will be played by two actors. Billy Batson – a young child – becomes this heroic being when uttering the word, you guessed it, “Shazam“.
The director also teased that production on Shazam! will be starting very soon, though there’s has been no casting announcements made yet. “I was lot more relaxed and could have a little bit more fun and just try out some different things, like a little bit of a different shooting style and stuff like that that I really enjoyed and I want to try to keep”. That seems like way too much of a hassle. But otherwise I think, I mean my first movie was just a huge learning experience in that, I’d only made no-to-low-budget shorts before back home in Sweden and all of a sudden, I got to go to film fests in America and I got to be the director. You probably can’t do someone to be a kid.
What Sandberg says here definitely makes sense.
Sandberg addressed the recent trend in movies, but reiterated that it would likely be hard to de-age an actor to the degree required for Shazam! Not to mention it might end up looking awkward in the end because there’s such a big age gap between the two.
While we’re not sure when Shazam! will begin filming, Sandberg said that he’s diving right into pre-production on the film with Annabelle: Creation now in theaters.