Full SPOILERS within!
FULL SPOILERS ahead for Shazam!
And for more on Shazam!, check out our review, our breakdown of the end credits scenes, and our explainer on the movie’s version of the Marvel family.
The very last scene in Shazam! before the end credits roll features the film’s biggest DC Comics cameo — but not in the way fans may have expected. Yes, as had been rumored and hoped for, Superman appears in Shazam! … from the neck down. And it’s not Henry Cavill playing him, although the costume might certainly make some viewers think it’s him.
In the spirit of the movie’s theme of wish fulfillment, the last scene sees in-universe DC fanboy Freddy Freeman (played by Jack Dylan Grazer) meeting his idol Superman thanks to his foster brother Billy Batson’s alter ego, Shazam (played by Zachary Levi). Freddy had previously bragged to his Fawcett High classmates that he could get his pal Shazam to show up at their school for lunch. But when Shazam failed to appear, Freddy paid the price for it in public humiliation.
So not only does Shazam make it up to Freddy in this final scene, he even brings along fellow superhero and new pal Superman to join them. Freddy, a huge fan of Superman’s, cannot believe his eyes. Food tray in hand, Superman comes to sit with Freddy and Shazam at their cafeteria lunch table — but we never see the Man of Steel’s face nor hear him speak. Superman is photographed from the neck down, but he’s clearly wearing the same costume worn by Henry Cavill in his Superman movies.
While recent reports of Henry Cavill’s departure from the DC movie universe have proven contradictory, Shazam! producer Peter Safran confirmed to IGN that the filmmakers initially planned on Henry Cavill making a cameo but scheduling prevented that from happening.
“We had talked about it being Cavill. We were only shooting at that school during their school holiday, that was the only time we had access to it, and we just simply could not make the schedule work. We were going to, and we actually had more to the scene, you know, he sits down, they have a brief conversation,” Safran explained to IGN in a recent phone interview.
“The truth is now, we wouldn’t have it any other way than the way we have it because we love ending on a hard cut after Freddy’s reaction. ‘Cause that’s what the movie’s about, it’s about Freddy’s reaction to the fact that Superman is there serving him the meal. It’s not really about the dialogue that we would have had afterwards. That would have been kind of a bit of a hat on a hat. So it worked out the way it should have.”
As for whether the character of Superman might appear in a Shazam! 2, Safran was upbeat but noncommittal: “I honestly don’t know if that’s a path we’ll go down or not because we just haven’t determined what the future holds yet for Shazam.”
“I personally would love to see him,” Safran continued. “I’d love to see Shazam interact with any of these superheroes because he’s a 14 year old boy and they’re all angsty adults. I just think it would be fun.”
What did you think of the Superman cameo in Shazam!? Let us know in the comments!