Shazam! Sequel Already in The Works

It looks like Warner Bros./New Line Cinema already new they had a winner on their hands with Shazam! before the movie’s release. Yesterday the movie made a strong debut at the box office by making over $53M in its opening weekend. Now, it seems Warner Bros. are pushing already planning ahead for the sequel. The Wrap reported earlier today that writer of the movie Henry Gayden, will be returning to pen the script for the sequel. This is great news for me because I personally thought the script was the strongest aspect of the movie. And why change something that isn’t broken? Hopefully, this also means director David F. Sandberg will also be returning for the sequel. Warner Bros. seem to be on a role now. Earlier in the year they gave us a release date for an Aquaman sequel and now the wheels are being put in motion for the Shazam! sequel. It’s nice to see the universe growing without the likes of Superman and Batman at the forefront. Each character is big enough to hold their own.

Let me know your thoughts on this news down below.

Shazam! Tops Box Office as The Rock Teases Showdown With Black Adam

Another entry into the DC Universe, another number one at the box office. The latest DC movie Shazam! follows the likes of Wonder Woman, Suicide Squad, Aquaman and BvS by making a strong debut at the Box Office. Forbes are reporting that Shazam! has made over $53M during its opening weekend. This combined with the numbers overseas means the movie has already made over $150M at the box office. Given the budget of the movie is only $90M, if this is any indication Shazam! is set to be a major success going for.

While fans were celebrating this early success someone else was quick to share his delight with the movie’s performance. The Rock, originally set to play Shazam!, now Black Adam shared his thoughts on this news. In case you didn’t know The Rock and his movie production company serve as producers for Shazam!

Here’s what The Rock said on his Instagram:

By the end of this video The Rock goes on confirm that the Black Adam movie will be starting production next year. Not only that, but he also hinted at the inventible showdown between Black Adam and Shazam. And possibly with some other DC characters as he claimed “That day of reckoning is coming for EVERYONE”. Could we see Superman and Shazam! vs Black Adam? I hope we do. The Rock, Zachary Levi and Henry Cavill all on the screen at the same time together would be amazing.

Shazam! is currently in theatres, go check it out now!

Check out my review for Shazam!

Shazam! – Review (non-spoiler)

Shazam! is the latest entry into the DCEU. After the recent success of Aquaman all eyes turned to Billy Batson, a kid who can turn into a superhero by saying the word Shazam! Tasked with bringing Shazam to the big screen for the first time is David F. Sandberg. Most known for his horror background this would seem like an odd choice given Shazam’s character. But just like James Wan, David F. Sandberg proved he can adapt his style and produce a great superhero movie. Because that’s what Shazam! is at the end of the day. I had such a great time while watching this movie. My cheeks started to hurt because I found myself smiling so much. Shazam! is a movie full of heart that grabs you from minute one and takes you even further once Billy discovers his powers.

Family

One of the main reasons why this film resonated with me so much is the use of family as its theme. Billy from a young age not only struggles to fit in, but he has an even harder time trying to find a place he can call home. And throughout the movie it has him going back to his past to look for answers. I won’t spoil it, but I found some of these scenes really emotional. By the end of the movie it’s really nice to see how things turn out for him. You see how Billy changes over time, especially with how he treats people. Because at the beginning of the movie he’s not the nicest kid, but given his upbringing you can kind of sympathise with him. It’s just so satisfying once his character makes that change.

Perfect casting

I cannot praise the movie any further if I don’t give a special shoutout to the cast here. The movie works because of them. And you know what’s the best part about it? The majority of the main cast are kids! They’re going places after this movie. As for the main star Zachary Levi he’s just perfect in the role. I knew he was going to nail the role from the first trailer. He not only embodies this version of the character so well, but he makes if feel so realistic to me if that makes sense. I would totally be acting the same way he does in the movie if I found out I could become a superhero. He and Jack Dylan Grazer play off each other so well. Every time it was just them two on the screen together I wanted more. My favourite part in movie is once Billy gets his powers he takes Freddy along with him to discover what powers he actually has. This whole 10-15 minutes section of testing Shazam’s abilities is amazing and it works so well because of the chemistry between the actors. The rest of the kids who make up the foster family are great too. Faithe Herman as Darla was a standout too. Every time she was on the screen she got a positive reaction from the audience.

Dr. Sivana

Speaking of great casting Mark Strong as Dr. Sivana provides for an interesting main villain. Surprisingly, Dr. Sivana is actually given a lot of screen time compared to other villains in superhero movies. The movie actually opens with him. So not only are we following Billy’s journey we’re also following Dr. Sivana’s arc at the same time too. He’s isn’t a throwaway villain. The writers made sure that we understand why he took this route and the impact his upbringing had on him, just like with Billy. What I liked the most about Dr. Sivana is how he’s a genuine threat to Billy and the public. One of the best scenes in the movie involves Dr. Sivana in a boardroom. It’s straight up terrifying, clearly David F. Sandberg was channeling his horror roots in this scene. This scene really stands-out in the movie and it helps solidify Dr. Sivana as a formidable opponent for Shazam.

A lack of punch

With all the praise I’ve given to this movie so far it’s only right for me to bring up what I didn’t like about it because it’s not a perfect movie. Personally, I thought the action was just average. Not that it looked bad because given the lower budget I thought the CGI was fine throughout the movie. But the action scenes/fighting didn’t show me anything different. I was expecting more to be honest. And this ties in with another issue I have with the movie which is the third act/final fight. I thought it could have been a lot better. My main issues with it are that it had the same type of action as we saw throughout the movie and I felt like it went on for too long. Other than the action, humour is a major aspect of the movie. And while for the majority of the movie it worked there were times where a joke would take me out of the moment. At this point I might be nitpicking because 90% of the jokes landed for me. Plus there genuinely were some laugh out loud moments throughout.

Closing thoughts

Overall, even the flaws aren’t enough from stopping Shazam! being a special movie. It may not make a billion dollars like Aquaman, but I think Shazam! will win the hearts of many people. It won my heart. I love this movie and I can’t wait to see it again, along with a couple of sequels in the future. At a time where it may feel like we’re getting too many superhero movies and there may be some fatigue. Shazam! is a breath of fresh air to the genre. Do yourself a favour, go out and see this movie!

Shazam! will be released on April 5

The Shazam! Trailer Is Finally Here

The marketing for DC’s upcoming Shazam! movie is finally picking up steam. Over the past couple of weeks the studio has slowly been putting out more TV spots. And with the movie set to be released next month it was time for the big one! Another full trailer to hold us over for the next couple of weeks.

As for the trailer itself I thought it was really well done. The thing I liked about it the most is how they actually didn’t show much which is a good thing to me. For example, with Mark Strong unless you’ve read the comics we don’t know much about him from this trailer and the one they showed last year at SDCC. Warner Bros. in particular, has been guilty of showing too much of the story/footage with their trailers in the past. But not with Shazam! this time. They seem to be learning from their mistakes and taking a more laid back approach. Granted, the movie’s budgets isn’t in the same realms as the likes of Man of Steel/BvS and Aquaman. Shazam’s budget is much lower and is fully expected to make back its budget and much more.

When the trailer wasn’t showing us footage we had already seen the new material was a welcome sight. I must say the tone of this movie feels perfect. I love the chemistry between Freddy and Shazam! I do believe Freddy will steal the movie for me. How can you not love him? He’s basically acting like how anyone of us would act if we found out our best friend was a superhero. His performance comes across as so genuine and pure. As for Shazam himself, it’s going to be great to see how his journey evolves. While he’s having all of this fun at one point it’s going to get serious because Dr. Sivana does pose a genuine threat to him and his foster family.

The special effects for the movie look fine. There’s nothing that I have seen so far that has taken my breath way. There also hasn’t been anything that I think looks terrible. You can tell the film is on a smaller budget. And honestly, I know it might sound like I’m being too much of a DC fan, but the visuals don’t really bother me. With Shazam! I’m not looking for this overly complex story or a cinematic masterpiece. I’m just looking to have fun. And with everything I’ve seen so far I think I’m going to have a great time watching this movie.

What did you think of the trailer? Let me know your thoughts down below.

Shazam! is set to be released on April 5th

My Thoughts On The Shazam! Trailer

Now I can’t lie although I thought the Aquaman trailer was amazing I found myself enjoying the Shazam! trailer a lot more. This is not a knock to the Aquaman trailer or James Wan, I just find myself replaying the Shazam! trailer more than the Aquaman one. To be honest I was already sold on Aquaman before the trailer was even released. I know what James Wan is capable of and the horror elements he would bring to Aquaman. Now Shazam! is an entirely different case to me. A kid who turns into a superhero with the mention of a single word sounds great on paper (hence the popularity of the character). But how would that work on the big screen? Especially in 2019? This was one of the biggest questions I had going into this trailer. And Sandberg along with the cast look go have got it spot on. I love everything about this trailer. The tone, humour and even the way its shot given its much smaller budget compared to the previous DCEU films. Now I’m not going to pretend like I’m the biggest Shazam/Captain Marvel fan ever but from what I know of the character they have done a good job at both respecting the past of the character while embracing the more recent iterations of Shazam with the New 52 run.

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Zachary Levi looks great in the suit and plays the whole inner-child aspect of the character really well. Granted we can see that the suit is padded and Zachary Levi clearly isn’t that big but it feels like they did it on purpose, it fits the tone of the movie. While Zachary Levi will play the most important role in the movie the child actors that were picked here are the real stars of the trailer for me. Asher makes a great Billy Batson in my opinion and Jack Dylan Grazer as Freddy Freeman was involved in my favourite moments from the trailer. I just feel like he does a great job at representing us comic fans and how we would react if we find out our foster brother had superpowers.

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I’ve seen people complain about the trailer potentially showing too much of the movie already. I’m guessing the majority of what they showed in the trailer takes place within the first 30/45 minutes of the movie. While I want to see Billy running around using his powers I also want to see the struggles he goes through as he’s trying to find that family structure in his life. But when he does discover his powers in the trailer that’s when the fun begins. Those training montages are great I can’t wait to see more of them. My favourite part of the trailer is the robbery scene where Shazam finds out he’s bulletproof. Freddy’s reaction in this scene makes it for me, you can tell him and Zachary have great chemistry on screen. We only caught a glimpse of Mark Strong’s Doctor Sivana and I’m expecting us to see a lot more of him in the second trailer. This just shows how they haven’t given away too much with this trailer.

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Overall while the character of Shazam is familiar to me this trailer makes me want to go back and start reading through his comics. I think New Line Cinema could potentially have a gem on their hands with this movie. They really need to go full force with the marketing of the film. If done right and this trailer is a great start I think Shazam could reach the same level of popularity as the rest of the Justice League members in the cinematic universe. Speaking of cinematic universes I love how both Aquaman and Shazam! are completely movies in terms of style and tone but they still exist in the same universe. One day I hope we get to see Billy and Freddy interact with the Justice League in the future.

Let me know your thoughts on the trailer

First Official Look At ‘Shazam!’

With SDCC right around the corner I was expecting us to get our first official look at Shazam! during the Warner Bros. panel. However, the studio are looking to start the hype train early by giving us our first look at Shazam! After months of behind the scenes shots and leaked promotional images we finally have our first look at the character. Entertainment Weekly has provided us with a still from the upcoming movie which features both Shazam! and Freddy Freeman (Billy Batson’s best friend). Comparing this shot the ones that leaked from the set I straightaway noticed some changes that they made to the suit. Firstly, the boots are completely different, the gauntlets look more detailed along with the belt.

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Director David Sandberg talking to Entertainment Weekly went into detail about the suit:

“I wanted to keep the shorter cape as a throwback to the original because that’s something that sets him apart from Superman or Batman,”

Just like with every comic book movie directors try their best to respect the past while embracing the present and David Sandberg has shown that with the addition of the hood on the suit which is influenced by the Golden Age comics:

“It makes him feel a bit more Golden Age superhero, which is the vibe I’m going for.”

Personally I love this image, it really captures the tone of the film. Shazam! will be a much lighter film compared to the previous entries in the DCEU. Everyone involved in the project seemed to have a lot of fun shooting this movie and I can’t wait to see what they bring with them to SDCC. My prediction is that we’ll get a teaser trailer next week along with some more official images. Mind you we still haven’t seen what Shazam! will look like when all the VFX are applied to the character.

Synopsis for Shazam!

“We all have a superhero inside us, it just takes a bit of magic to bring it out. In Billy Batson’s (Angel) case, by shouting out one word—SHAZAM!—this streetwise 14-year-old foster kid can turn into the adult Super Hero Shazam (Levi), courtesy of an ancient wizard. Still a kid at heart—inside a ripped, godlike body—Shazam revels in this adult version of himself by doing what any teen would do with superpowers: have fun with them! Can he fly? Does he have X-ray vision? Can he shoot lightning out of his hands? Can he skip his social studies test? Shazam sets out to test the limits of his abilities with the joyful recklessness of a child. But he’ll need to master these powers quickly in order to fight the deadly forces of evil controlled by Dr. Thaddeus Sivana (Strong).”

Shazam is set to be released 5 April 2019

Djimon Hounsou To Play The Wizard In Shazam!

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Filming for the Shazam! movie has been completed for a couple of months now.

But that hasn’t stopped updates surrounding the project from surfacing as we learned today. Thanks to Entertainment Weekly it has been reported that Djimon Hounsou will now be playing the role of the Wizard in the project.

This news came as a shock to many fans because the last we heard of the Wizard in the Shazam! movie how he was going to be portrayed by Ron Cephas Jones. However that has now changed with Hounsou (who is most recently known for his role as Korath the Pursuer in Guardians of the Galaxy) jumping into the DC universe.

Ironically he will be starring in both the Captain Marvel (the original name or Shazam!) and Shazam! films next year. The Wizard plays an important role in the titular characters mythology, he’s the main reason why Billy gets his powers. I can’t help but think if anyone else could be making a surprise appearance in this film given how this news was kept under the radar for a long time.

Djimon Hounsou will be joining the likes of Zachary Levi, Mark Strong, Ross Butler, Asher Angel and many more in Shazam!

Shazam! will be released on 5 April 2019

Let me know in the comments what you think of this casting news.

First Official Look At Shazam!

For months fans have been waiting to see the first official look at Shazam in costume. While we have been graced with set photos already it’s get the full picture when it comes to a character such as Shazam who needs a lot of VFX done in post because of his abilites. I was one of the many who couldn’t wait to get our first official look at Shazam as I was expecting it to be revealed at SDCC tin July during Warner Bros. panel but Zachary Levi (Shazam himself) had other ideas.

Zachary Levi took to Instagram to give us our first look at Shazam with a promotional image for the film:

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Just by looking at this image if you’ve never read a Shazam/Captain Marvel comic you can see that this film will have a much lighter tone. After all this is a kid inside the body of a superhero and I believe this image captures that well. With the way Zachary Levi interacts with fans on Twitter I can really see him pulling off this role, he comes across as a kid himself too with how excited he is about this film. One thing I wanted to point out if you look closely right next to Zachary Levi you can see the arm of someone holding a trident. My initial reaction says it’s Aquaman since this was a Licensing Expo which featured Warner Bros. other properties such as Wonder Woman and Fantastic Beasts. It would make sense to put Aquaman next to Shazam. The promotion for James Wan’s Aquaman movie should be starting soon since the film is 7 months away. Overall things are looking promising as a DC fan I’m hearing nothing but good things about Shazam, Aquaman and Wonder Woman 2.

Shazam is personally one of my most anticipated comic book movies, I can’t wait to see what David Sandberg has done with this childlike superhero next year.

Shazam is set to be released 5 April, 2019

Let me know your thoughts on our first official look of Shazam

 

Comic Book News ‘Weekly Roundup’ (Week 2)

Welcome to the second week of this ‘Weekly Roundup’ series. There has been a wide range of news/stories that came out last week and mainly a lot of rumours. However I picked the ones that are both official and the ones that I felt were most interesting to talk about. Today we will be looking at Wonder Woman 2 casting news, more Shazam leaks, Black Panther’s Box Office numbers, X-Men: Dark Phoenix and The Joker movie.

So let’s get started with the first story!

Wonder Woman Casting Announcement (Cheetah)

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It was reported last week that Warner Bros. were in talks with Kristen Wiig to star as Cheetah in the Wonder Woman sequel. While there are rumours surrounding the DC extended universe everyday this story just felt different to me. Maybe it was because of the outlets that were reporting the news such as TheWrap that made it feel like there was something to this than just rumours. Well last week Patty Jenkins confirmed these rumours to be true as she welcomed Kristen Wiig to the Wonder Woman franchise with a tweet. Gal Gadot soon followed with her own welcoming message to Kristen Wiig on Twitter. Spending a lot of time on social media I’m still seeing a very mixed response to this news just like when the rumours first appeared. I for one have learned especially with the DCEU not to judge casting announcements until the film comes out because thankfully I have been proven wrong a few times.

Wonder Woman 2 is set to be released November 1 2019 and is expected to start shooting this summer. 

Black Panther crosses $1 Billion at Box Office

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One of Marvel’s most successful movies ever… Wait one of the most successful movies ever! Honestly I didn’t think this film was going to be as big as it is now I’ll admit that. I’ve lost count of the number of records it has already broken having been out only for a month. Well the film’s latest biggest achievement came just a couple of days ago when it reach $1 Billion at the WorldWide Box Office. That’s insane for a comic book movie! Honestly at best I was thinking it would be around the $800 Million mark but this has blown my expectations out of the water. And it’s fully deserved I loved this film I think it’s a win for the comic book movie genre in general. It’ll be interesting to see how Infinity War’s numbers will compare to Black Panther’s which is only a couple of months away.

Joker Movie To Follow The Killing Joke Plot

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Now this is a movie that when I first heard about it I thought was a long shot. At best I didn’t expect to hear anything about this film for a number of years. However this film seems to be a priority for Warner Bros. It was earlier last year when reports started to surface about a script being written and plans to start production late 2018. Then we heard that this Joker film would be an origin story but without Jared Leto’s Joker. The studio were reportedly looking at Joaquin Phoenix to play the iconic role. Well just last week we got even more developments as the plot details about the project emerged. It’s believed that this Joker origin movie will be heavily influenced by Alan Moore’s ‘The Killing Joke‘ with a Joker who was a failed stand up comedian. Honestly I’m not sure what to make of this… I mean the more DC films the better right? But I just feel like they could be putting their efforts into a character that really needs it. I’d love to see another Superman film, Cyborg film even a Deathstroke movie. I’d rather hear about developments on those films. However what I took from this whole story is that Warner Bros. with this film are attempting to create a separate DC universe where standalone films such as this will exist. Now I think that’s a great idea I love the thought of putting out these DC storylines in film which require no build up or universe building at all. If this goes well this could be the start of something great for DC.

More Shazam set photos leak
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Last week set photos from the upcoming Shazam movie leaked and the internet as it usually does went crazy. Some loved it and some just outright hated it. I’ll be honest I didn’t like what I saw but I knew this was a bad picture in general. Shazam is a character where the costume in live action is going to require a lot of VFX because of his powers and you’re just not going to see that until we get the final product. Thankfully with these newly leaked images which I must say are with a MUCH better angle I really like the suit. My biggest worry from the original suit was it looked like the material was cheap. However with these recent images the material for the suit looks good and the suit is heavily detailed which is another worry I had. Overall I’m seeing a lot more positive reactions to these latest images. Also leaked from the set were images of Zachary Levi’s Shazam going up against the main villain Doctor Sivana played by Mark Strong which provide for an interesting look.

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First look at X-Men: Dark Phoenix costumes

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Just like with Shazam another movie that is currently shooting is X-Men: Dark Phoenix also experienced leaks of a set image. Granted there aren’t as many set photos that leaked it’s only one really and it’s not the best quality so I’ll keep this short. In this set photo you see the cast standing around not doing much. But what got fans talking about this set photo is that we get a glimpse of their costumes for the film. The look of the costume resembles Frank Quietly’s work on the New X-Men series with the blue uniforms that have the Yellow X on them. While writing this a report also came out earlier claiming that this X-Men film will be more of a drama than a Superhero film. I personally feel that this has been the case for the majority of X-Men films and I can’t wait for this film especially after the disappointment of X-Men: The Last Stand. I’d also like to add that this film is reportedly going to be scored by Hans Zimmer too, without a doubt one of my favourite film composers ever. An X-Men: Dark Phoenix described as a drama scored by Hans Zimmer is music to my ears.

X-Men: Dark Phoenix is set to be released on November 2 later this year 

There you have it for this week!

Let me know your thoughts on the stories I covered and any feedback is welcome

See you next week!

Comic Book News ‘Weekly Roundup’ (Week 1)

Welcome to a new series that I will be doing here weekly on my site. The purpose of the ‘Weekly roundup’ is pretty simple, I will take the news and rumours from the week surrounding the comic book industry (movies in particular) and give my thoughts and opinions on them. This will allow me to cover more stories and give me a chance to write about both DC and Marvel as there seems to be new stories and rumours everyday. With that being said in this week’s edition I will be covering news such as Fox Studios future plans, Avengers: Infinity War, Wonder Woman 2, Batgirl and Shazam.

Fox Studios planning more X-Men movies

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A couple of months ago when the deal with Disney and Fox was announced many comic book fans feared the worst. What would happen to the Fox movies? After X-Men: Dark Phoenix will they stop producing comic book movies? Well it looks like the deal hasn’t impacted futures plans at all for the studio as they plan to release 3 X-Men movies in 2019 and another 3 in 2020. Amongst these could possibly be solo films for both The Silver Surfer and Dr. Doom which were confirmed this week to be in production. Overall this is very encouraging news for all comic book fans because it means we have more studios producing these films not just two. Fox studios this year will release Deadpool 2 and X-Men: Dark Phoenix.

Infinity War Date Pushed up

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Staying with Marvel they just decided to push up the date for their biggest movie to date. Yes Avenger: Infinity War will now be released a week earlier on April 27 worldwide. It’s the way they announced this new date which made everyone stop and admire the way Marvel runs its organisation. Here’s a recap of how the new release date was announced with a conversation between Robert Downey Jr. and the Marvel Studios on Twitter:

 

 

Personally I think it’s great that everyone gets to experience this huge film at the same time around the world. However does this mean that some characters will actually die in Infinity War? And they chose to push up the release date in hopes to stop spoilers from coming out by those would have got to seen it earlier in Europe like myself.

What’s going on with Batgirl?

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The Batgirl project is one that has been surrounded by a lot of controversy ever since it was announced that Joss Whedon would be directing it. Personal stories that were made public about Whedon’s relationships made fans think that he wasn’t the right choice for this project in the first place. Now fast forward to after Justice League where he was brought in to do the majority of the reshoots which really rubbed fans the wrong way. Some felt he was brought in to change the film into a more Marvel like film under the studios instructions and he got a lot of the blame for Justice League. This really created a negative feeling around the Batgirl project in general, people just didn’t want to see him direct this film. However some fans actually got their wish as it was reported last week that Whedon had left the project after he ‘failed’ to come up with a story for Batgirl. Now it looks like Batgirl is back to square one with reports stating that the studio “has no imminent plans to find a new director”. Personally I felt it was a good decision for Joss Whedon to step down from the project. As a huge DC fan who spends a lot of time on Twitter, there was this negativity that surrounded the project because Whedon’s name was attached to it. The feeling around Batgirl would have only gotten worse as time went on if he was in charge.

Shazam First look (kinda)

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A couple of days ago the internet was sent into a frenzy when a picture of Zachary Levi in the Shazam costume leaked online from the film set. Now granted it’s not an official reveal of course, but that didn’t stop fans from either loving or hating what they saw. I personally love the look of the costume which resembles the New 52 Shazam with the cape and the hood. My only issue is that the materials used for the suit makes it look cheap, I was hoping for a more skin tight suit. I honestly thought the picture was a fake when I first saw it on my timeline. However I have faith in David F. Sandberg and the VFX team that they will do their best to make the suit look great when we finally get a official reveal from the studio.

Wonder Woman 2 developments

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With the success of the first Wonder Woman movie fans like myself can’t wait to see what Patty Jenkins has to offer with the sequel. Well this week we learned two things about the movie which is set to be released in 2019. The first being that the film will start production this summer in London which is great news. The second being that Cheetah is rumoured to be the main villain of the film. Along with that it was reported that Kristen Wiig is in talks with the studio to play the role. This news actually created some controversy amongst fans given her previous work. I for one have learned not to question casting decisions anymore I find them exciting actually especially when people are proved wrong. Lets hope the same happens if Kristen Wiig is actually set to play the role which we should get some official confirmation in the upcoming months. It was also rumoured that Steve Trevor’s character would also return in Wonder Woman 2. However that seems to have cooled down for now It’ll be interesting to see if there are any developments on this in the future.

That’s it for the first week of this ‘Weekly Roundup’ series, let my know your thoughts on the stories I covered above.

Also feel free to give me any feedback positive or negative I don’t mind.

See you next week!