If you have followed us for any time, you know we love a good Easter Egg hunt pertaining to nerd movies. From CBMs to fantasy to sci-fi, eggs of all sizes can be found in movies and it takes some keen eyes (and often, multiple viewings) to catch them all.
We have shared classics, current blockbusters, and even those with cult followings. Today, we have what has to be a shocking surprise for DC fans (and even stans). Shazam! had a cornucopia teeming with blatant references, obscure Easter Eggs, and some Cadburys that even the most proficient on DC canon may miss.
Join us as we hop down the wonderful bunny trail for a Top 10 in Shazam!
**WARNING: BIG SPOILERS appear along this Easter Trail. Hop away if you want. You’ve Been Warned**
There was absolutely zero shame from director David Sandberg extolling his appreciation for DC Comics and its six previous CBMs. And it was wonderful. With the caped crusader, we get Batarangs, stand-up dolls used as a weapon, merch, and even a couple of vocal cues. A great nod to the Cape and Cowl.
Super Love Too
Never mind the controversial cameo. When Freddy opened that drawer, it was so great for those brief seconds. There was even a headline from the original Richard Donner Superman entitled “Caped Wonder Stuns the City.” Did you see the Time magazine featuring Zod’s invasion in Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel? David Sandberg with the director love for both generations. Bravo!
And Even Aqua Love
This was fun to watch. Freddy with a great shirt many of us want to purchase. There was even a post-credits scene you really need to see (if you are daring to read this without seeing the movie). Again, David Sandberg isn’t bashful to admonish those he respects. James Wan, this one’s for you. (It is a mutual thing.)
Just a Touch of Wonder Love
Check the t-shirt. Dude has more DC merch than a Spencer’s in your local mall (or maybe a Goodwill following the mass exodus of support during Justice League).
Many may not recall but ‘Captain Marvel’ is one of DC’s oldest franchises. In fact, it wasn’t even theirs back in 1939. Yes, in the 1940s, he was the biggest superhero on the planet published by Fawcett Comics. He is the trivia answer to ‘Who had the first-ever CBM?‘ In 1953, Fawcett folded, DC bought its rights, discovered a little copyright issue with Marvel, and created Shazam! Nice drop in the cafeteria.
There’s Billy, getting the business from his social worker when we are greeted to some inconspicuous smiley faces. You know, social work so you need to be happy. Yeah, we all knew it was the infamous “button” from the heralded Watchmen. And, if you don’t agree, just ask Sandberg himself…
Of course pic.twitter.com/2jADZpCPx4
— David F. Sandberg (@ponysmasher) July 23, 2018
Call it an homage to DC Comics, circa 1982. Call it a pat on the back to James Wan (again). But there it is in some sweet tag ‘Arion’ (upper right). Who?! About 500,000 years ago, two Atlantean demigods had a baby boy named Arion, who was later dubbed “Lord of Atlantis.” Although he’s more caught up in the Superman and Powergirl comics, there it is in comics and on a half-pipe in Fawcett City.
For years before Shazam! hit theaters, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson has been connected with the movie. When Billy Batson finally makes it to visit the Wizard, we hear about a predecessor who didn’t take the Shazam mantle so well. “Long ago, we chose a champion, and we chose recklessly.” Enter Black Adam. That conflict on the screen should be magical with Dwayne, who incidentally gets a producer credit for the film.
Go to the Movies
Sandberg is not only a fan of DC Comics (so come back any time) but he’s also a cinephile of good movies in general–including his own. When Billy and Freddy mosey into a pawn shop, we see a cute, creepy little doll on the shelf named Annabelle. (He made Annabelle: Creation.)
Many have compared Shazam! to the Tom Hanks retro pubescent movie Big, so as Billy (as ‘Shazam’) is running through the toy store, he steps on a walking piano. Major LOL moment for kids of the ’80s and props to Sandberg for taking the references in stride. Here’s the magical scene from the original…
Then, we get a nod to Independence Day. Yes, the alien invasion movie with Will Smith and Bill Pullman. When the Seven Deadly Sins enter the boardroom of Dr. Sivana’s dastardly father, they are unleashed. It’s not pretty, but during the skirmish, we visit outside the boardroom. His assistant is startled by the noise and a lot of fog against the windows. Then, we get a jolt, much like what is in this scene.
Everyone needs a good luck charm, right? Pixar uses John Ratzenberger in every single film (i.e., Hamm in Toy Story, Mack in Cars, Underminer in The Incredibles). Perhaps Glover will be DC’s.
In Shazam! the wonderful character actor is the mean-spirited and verbally abusive father of young Dr. Sivana. Familiar to the peculiar paternal douchebag, he’s known to CBT (comic book TV) viewers as Lionel Luthor, terrible dad to Lex. Did you know he had a role in ‘Batnips’ (aka. Batman and Robin) as the villainous Dr. Jason Woodrue. Lastly, according to DC’s page on Fandom, we know he was the voice of the Riddler in the animated series Batman, Superman, and The New Batman Adventures.