Shazam: Fury Of The Gods Needs To Keep One Aspect From The First Movie

Director David F. Sandberg began his career by working on small horror films and creating short pieces under the name Ponysmasher on Youtube. He eventually made his first official film in 2016, Lights Out, which was inspired by a project of his from years prior. Sandberg has also gone on to direct the popular film Annabelle: Creation. However, his most recent and arguably most popular film, Shazam!, had the most compelling story of them all. While working with the DCEU and Warner Bros. on the film, Sandberg was encouraged to draw on his spooky origins and use his specific area of expertise to add an extra layer to Billy Batson’s origin story.

Getting a horror director to bring a rather lighthearted and superhero-focused piece to life isn’t something a lot of fans expected from the DC Universe, but it seems to have worked in their favor. Sandberg’s previous work is quite different from anything the DCEU has produced thus far and since he was encouraged to utilize his knowledge of the horror genre while working on the film, Shazam! is a perfect combination of multiple genres.

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Sandberg definitely brought an original flair to the already unique piece, having found a way to incorporate his more familiar style amongst the family-focused film. The inclusion of demons in a movie about finding family and discovering one’s true place in the world was highly unexpected, but it seemed to carry the “shock factor” that horror movies love to take advantage of.

To truly scare an audience, horror films need to shock them and present them with something dark or evil that they weren’t expecting. Sanberg certainly managed to do a great job with this in Shazam! because of how relatable and comedic the movie was. A lot of the major themes in Shazam! were centered around creating emotional depth and showing fans a character that still feels human, despite being in possession of magical powers. The bits of humor woven throughout the piece also contributed to the down-to-earth tone of the film, so when the monsters finally showed their true colors, it packed a bigger punch by surprising the viewers.

The inclusion of the Seven Deadly Sins in Shazam! was a rather unexpected antagonist for the young superheroes, but the scenes where the monsters emerged from Doctor Sivana showcased Sandberg’s ability to bring the horror genre to life without being unnecessarily violent. In a lot of low-grade horror films, extreme amounts of gore or mutilation are used to frighten the audience, but aside from making viewers feel uncomfortable, it doesn’t do much in terms of creating a lasting impact. Sandberg used his horror knowledge sparingly, yet effectively in Shazam! and the outcome proved to be very successful.

Having been such a stand-out piece amongst the rest of the DCEU films, Shazam: Fury of the Gods would be wise to continue using Sandberg’s specialized skill set while making the sequel. After Shazam! performed better than initially expected, expectations are much higher for the second installment, and many fans are hoping to receive the same level of relatable content, hilarious comedy, and scary surprises that were delivered in the original film.

The overarching plot of Shazam 2 is rumored to be heavily influenced by Greek gods and mythology. The inclusion of the Seven Deadly Sins in the first film was a clever way to play on Biblical stories that are often dramatized or reinvented for a more horror-like experience in popular media, so it seems as if Sandberg is taking a similar approach by using gods as antagonists in his next movie.

Greek mythology consists of a plethora of jarring tales and haunting characters, like Medusa or the Hydra, so there is a lot of different material for Sandberg to draw from if he plans to bring the same level of shock in Shahzam 2 as he did in the first. If Sandberg continues to play with the more psychological aspects (as opposed to the bloody and physical aspects) of horror, it would definitely enhance Shazam: Fury of the Gods the same way it did for the original movie.

Getting to direct a movie in such a popular franchise, after having only made two films with a real budget, is an obvious testament to Sandberg’s talent. Shazam! is seen as one of the best DCEU films to have been released by a lot of superhero fans, and without Sandberg’s creative approach to the subject, it wouldn’t have been such a success. Although there’s still a long wait until fans can see Shazam: Fury of the Gods in theaters, other highly anticipated DCEU films like The Batman, Black Adam, The Suicide Squad, and Aquaman 2 will hit the big screen before Billy Batson and the Shazamily make their return. Overall, it seems like the DC Universe will be giving viewers exactly what they want in the upcoming months.

Shazam: Fury of the Gods will be released in 2023.

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