Warner Bros SDCC Panel teases Black Adam and Shazam sequel!
Colorful outfits dominated the morning of the third day of San Diego Comic-Con 2022, matching the vibe of some colorful new footage to the Warner Bros. SDCC panel presentation at the largest comic book and popular arts convention of its kind.
An annual gathering where, in the pre-pandemic era, more than 135,000 folks (many decked out in homemade costumes) would pack into the San Diego Convention Center to gobble up new details about their favorite fantasy, superhero, horror and other genre shows and properties, Comic-Con has basically been on ice for the last several years — its often-boisterous in-person events relegated for the most part to virtual gatherings.
Perhaps that’s why this year seemed so jubilant. Tens of thousands of vaccinated and masked attendees have descended upon San Diego, California, this week, and they packed Hall H, the main convention venue, in the late morning on Saturday, July 23, eager to get an early glimpse at two highly anticipated superhero movies: Black Adam, which hits theaters on October 21, and Shazam! Fury of the Gods, which releases December 21. All attendees received a special, branded Shazam lanyard which lit up at a point during the presentation, as well as a free IMAX ticket to the film.
The cast from Shazam! Fury of the Gods appeared first during the Warner Bros. panel, with star Zachary Levi, decked out in a Hawaiian shirt, energetically taking the stage. While some material had previously been shown at the more distributor-oriented CinemaCon gathering in Las Vegas, Nevada, in April, Levi set the stage at Comic-Con for a sharing of the movie’s trailer and more new footage, by talking at length about the story.
Levi teased some superhero family rifts, saying that that disagreement and bickering is what helps give the movie a sense of emotional reality and grounded, relatable stakes while still taking place against such a fanciful, larger-than-life backdrop. “When the sequel begins, we’ve all been flying around, doing various missions — and we’re all still learning how to do that together while figuring out our own identities,” he said.
Lucy Liu, who jumps into the franchise as the villainous Kalypso, and many of Levi’s young costars then joined the star on stage. A lot of the shared footage emphasized the seeming ensemble nature of the film, showing the entire cast working together to take on Kalypso and Hespera (Helen Mirren), daughters of Atlas who are irritated at these “children who stole all the powers of the gods.”
A few other cast members, like Rachel Zegler, who appears as Antheia, and the aforementioned Mirren (who joked that she’d been banned from Comic-Con), joined the festivities via video.
Next up, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson won the day, making a grand appearance in costume as the titular DC Comics antihero Black Adam — a well-executed stunt which the crowd totally ate up. Following a quick outfit change, Johnson joined his cast mates Aldis Hodge, Noah Centino, and Quintessa Swindell, among others.
Johnson talked some about how humbling it was to see the members of the Justice Society all come walking onto set, and how that was a particularly memorable day of shooting for him. In a funny anecdote, Hodge said he didn’t believe he secured his role as Carter Hall/Hawkman until Johnson himself called him — and even then, he at first didn’t believe it was actually the star, and then thought he was simply being let down easy and professionally, with a “thanks-for-auditioning” phone call.
Before the Warner Bros SDCC panel, rumours had been swirling about Henry Cavill making a surprise appearance at Comic-Con to tease his participation in Black Adam as Superman — a rumour that didn’t come to fruition. Still, with this in mind, the Rock’s answer to a fan question about who would win in a fight between Black Adam and Superman (“It depends on who is playing Superman”) could perhaps offer up something to be read between the lines, if one wanted.
As Warner Bros. considers exactly how to build out the DC Extended Universe (including figuring out answers to some tough questions about the fate of The Flash, starring Ezra Miller — a subject entirely avoided on this day), it’s clear that there’s a significant groundswell of fan sentiment about Cavill remaining part of the DCEU firmament. That door remains open for him, but it seems like a firm deal and what that would entail for the future, beyond any cameo appearance(s), is still up for discussion.
by Brent Simon