Despite still not having a star—and losing its villain after it was announced that Dwayne Johnson’s Black Adam would be getting his own movie—Warner Bros. and New Line’s Shazam! film is apparently rolling steadily ahead. Pre-production began in August, and according to the adaptation’s director, David F. Sandberg, the movie is set to hit theaters in April 2019. After responding to a question about his last film, Annabelle: Creation, on Reddit, Sandberg was asked when fans could expect to see the DC superhero formerly known as Captain Marvel (not to be confused with Marvel Comics’ Captain Marvel, who will eventually be played by Brie Larson in a movie of her own) take to the screen. Sandberg confirmed the previously announced April 2019 release date, adding, “it takes a long time to make VFX heavy movies.”
Further details from the Shazam movie remain scarce. Shazam is the grown-up, beefed-up alter ego of Billy Batson, a kid who transforms into the superhero by speaking the word “Shazam,” and Sandberg has said he’s looking to cast actors for both roles, rather than relying on some sort of CG-fueled de-aging to turn an adult star into a teenage shrimp. The movie is also going to need a new nemesis, since Dwayne Johnson’s popularity has propelled Black Adam, Shazam’s longtime foil, to a solo film. The one encouraging thing we do know is that producer Toby Emmerich promises Shazam! “will have a sense of fun and a sense of humor” that sets it apart from most of DC’s other cinematic offerings.