Aquaman And Shazam! Can Save The DC Cinematic Universe

After all the dark, there’s a light at the end of the tunnel. Unless you were living in a cave this weekend, then you saw that Warner Brothers dropped trailers […]

After all the dark, there’s a light at the end of the tunnel.

Unless you were living in a cave this weekend, then you saw that Warner Brothers dropped trailers for Aquaman and Shazam! at San Diego Comic-Con this weekend. In this writer’s opinion, both look amazing! After what happened with Man of Steel, Batman v Superman, and Justice League, these could be the films that bring the audiences back to the theater.

Starting with Aquaman, I’ll admit, I had my doubts. Zack Synder really set a dark tone for the DC films. I’m not just talking the script, I’m talking about the actual look of the film. Synder loves muting colors and underlighting cinematography. There were times, I had no clue what was going on because of I couldn’t see what’s going on. I did like Justice League, but it wasn’t perfect. Synder needed to leave the film due to personal issues, and Joss Whedon took over. I feel what Whedon added to the film really helped. I especially liked Jason Momoa as Aquaman. Again, not perfect, but enjoyable.

Director James Wan, mainly known for the Saw films and other horror films, was announced, it didn’t ease my anxiety about the situation. That is until I saw the trailer. It blew my mind away. There is a good blend of action, drama, and humor in this trailer.  Would I still want to see a blonde Aquaman, I’d be lying if I didn’t say yes, but Momoa has really embraced the character. Plus the strong support cast of Nicole Kidman, Amber Heard, Patrick Wilson, and Willem Dafoe, really helps the film. The underwater sequences don’t look campy at all. They look great. Whatever doubt I had are now gone and I can’t wait until it opens.

Shazam!, on the other hand, I was always on board with. There was a lot of complaints when Zachary Levi was cast as Shazam, but I got there were going for a “Freaky Friday”/”Big” vibe to the film. From what I can tell from the trailer, it is based on Geoff Johns and Gary Frank’s reboot from 2011. The classic Shazam was more of an adult when 15-year old Billy Batson changed into him. He was a little more serious. Johns and Frank’s take also used that “Freaky Friday”/”Big” concept. 

The most important thing about the Shazam film is it looks fun! This looks like a film for all ages. This is something the DC movies needed desperately. My 6-year old couldn’t stop laughing at parts. This is a family film. The trailer gave me the same feeling I had when I first saw Christopher Reeves as Superman!

Look, I’m not saying that DC films need to be like Marvel films, but obviously Marvel is doing something right. To be quite honest, overall to non-comic readers, DC comics character are more well known than Marvel. Before the movies, the general public knew who Batman, Robin, Superman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Flash, and many more was. In terms of Marvel, most people knew of Spider-Man, the Hulk, and maybe Captain America, but really didn’t know who the other Marvel heroes were. Of course, that’s all changed for Marvel. DC films don’t need to compete with Marvel. They need to do their own thing, but they need to appeal to a mass audience. 

I really feel these films can change the way people think of the DC films. Wonder Woman did that, but then Justice League happened, and everyone forgot. Based on both trailers, these two films could be the key to reversing the damage that has been done. A reboot isn’t necessary if these films do well. 

I can’t predict the future, so I don’t know how well Aquaman and Shazam! will do in the theaters. I can only say that I’ll be there for both of them on opening night.

Brian Isaacs - Executive Editor / Publisher

About Brian Isaacs - Executive Editor / Publisher

An avid comic collector/reader for over 40 years and self-proclaimed professor of comicology, Brian original started up the site Pendragon's Post to share his voice. Well that voice has been shared, and evolved into The Fanboy Factor. Brian is an advocate for remembering comic roots, and that we don't forget what was created in the past, and encourage everyone to read it as well. When not swimming in geek culture, he can be seen corrupting..introducing his young son to comics, much to his wife's chagrin.