Shazam Trailer Breakdown

If you told me before San Diego Comic-Con started that the first trailer for Shazam! was going to impress the hell out of me, I would have said you were crazy. But here we are after the sneak peek debuted in Hall H and spread across the web like wildfire, and even after seeing the trailer a few times now, I can still say that Shazam! has quickly and surprisingly become one of my more anticipated films of 2019.

Now that the trailer is out there for everyone to sink their teeth into, we wanted to dig into this footage a little bit more. While the trailer itself is pretty straightforward, there are some interesting details to glean, including how the Shazam! movie is taking cues from the New 52 origin story of the superhero.

Shazam Trailer Breakdown

Shazam Trailer Breakdown

Meet Billy Batson (Asher Angel). He’s a bit of a troublemaker, bouncing around foster homes in six different counties. It’s a bit of a cliche for a superhero origin story, but whatever works. He’s being taken to a new foster home, and his social worker tells him to try to give this one a chance, since that’s exactly what this family wants to give him.

Shazam Trailer Breakdown

A quick shot shows us there’s a closeness in this foster family, led by¬†Cooper Andrews and Marta Milans, and before dinner they all reach their hands into the middle of the table, seemingly as a way of saying grace. As you can see Billy isn’t exactly ready to become chummy with his new family just yet. He’s still got that loner, rebel attitude inside of him and he’s just dying to turn 18 so he can take care of himself

Shazam Trailer Breakdown

Part of that family is Freddy Freeman, a disabled foster kid played by Jack Dylan Grazer. Clearly this kid isn’t letting life get him down as he has no problem joking around with Billy as soon as he arrives, tossing around a Game of Thrones reference for good measure. But Freddy isn’t nearly as obsessed with the HBO fantasy world as he is with superheroes.

Shazam Trailer Breakdown

In Freddy’s room, there’s a Batarang on display, perhaps something he recovered from a crime scene. That would require some skill on his part since Freddy lives in Philadelphia and Gotham City would presumably be a long trek away. Then again, maybe’s it’s just a replica of a real Batarang. Next to it there’s a book about how superheroes are having an impact on the world. This is clearly where Freddy’s interests lie.

Shazam Trailer Breakdown

The references to the DC Extended Universe don’t end there. Freddy has also been collecting newspapers from The Daily Planet and the Gotham Free Press whenever they do a story on Superman. It looks like he even has a bullet shell that was presumably deflected off Superman at some point, complete with a certificate of authenticity.

Shazam Trailer Breakdown

Freddy loves superheroes so much that he can’t stop talking about them at school either. He tries to have a fun conversation with Billy about what superpower he’d want, and all Billy wants to do is get out of the conversation as soon as possible.

Also, check out the background for a little Easter egg reference to Shazam’s comic book origins. Notice how it says Fawcett Central in the background? Obviously that’s the name of the school, which itself is a reference to Fawcett Comics, the original publisher of the Shazam comics, back when he was known as Captain Marvel. In the comics, the story of Billy Batson is based in Fawcett City, so this is a slightly different kind of tribute.

Shazam Trailer Breakdown

Though Billy may be doing everything he can to distance himself from Freddy and the rest of his foster family, he can’t help but do the right thing by stopping some bullies from picking on Freddy. It sounds like these guys maybe tried to mess with Freddy before, but his foster siblings maybe stopped them. Seems like they weren’t expecting Freddy’s new foster brother to do anything about it this time, but they got a dose of their own medicine.

Shazam Trailer Breakdown

Billy tries to make a quick getaway on the subway. This scene draws inspiration directly from the New 52 comics, which in itself is a reference to the original 1940 introduction of the character when Billy was an orphaned newsboy forced to sleep in a subway station until he is imbued with the powers of a wizard in a magical subway car.

Shazam Trailer Breakdown

It’s not clear if the subway car itself is magical, or maybe the wizard is just using his magic to transport Billy to where he needs to be, but some ancient symbols pop up on the light-up destination box which indicate something isn’t quite right about this train ride.

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