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Shazam Director Reveals Marvel Movie He Almost Made Before Choosing DC

Shazam! director David F. Sandberg reveals that he chose the popular DCEU project over another movie starring a popular Marvel Comics antihero.

Shazam! director David F. Sandberg reveals that if he had chosen projects differently, he could have made a completely different superhero film for another company. Shazam! hit screens in April 2019 and established itself as a brighter, more enjoyable DCEU superhero feature compared to the previous, darker, lore-heavy DC films. The movie, which starred Zachary Levi as the titular superhero, made it a point to mix the family-centric heart of Billy Batson’s discovery of his superpowers with the dark, sometimes frightening horrors supplied by Shazam villain Dr. Sivana. That mix of family fare and PG-darkness made Shazam! a pre-summer success, grossing $140.4 million domestically.


A lot of the scarier sensibilities of Shazam! are rooted in Sandberg’s own career as a horror director prior to taking on the superhero genre. After establishing himself with viral horror shorts on his Instagram, Sandberg took audiences by storm with Lights Out, and added a spark of originality to the Conjuring universe with 2017’s Annabelle: Creation. Though Sandberg has adopted a more mainstream approach to filmmaking with Shazam! and its upcoming sequel, Shazam! Fury of the Gods, his origins are purely in horror. However, this doesn’t mean Shazam! was the only superhero project Sandberg considered taking on when he was wanting to make the leap.

Related: Everything We Know About Shazam 2

Responding to an Instagram Q&A, Sandberg breaks down the factors that drew him to directing Shazam!, in addition to mentioning he was also in talks to direct 2018’s Venom. He admits that, while he had been courted for Shazam! first, he did have a meeting with Sony and read the script for Venom before ultimately going with Warner Bros. He also says he respected what Sony eventually did with Venom when it hit theaters in October 2018. Check out the Instagram post below:

Sandberg being considered to direct Venom makes sense, given Sony’s game plan in adapting the classic Spider-Man villain to the screen. For the first Venom film, Sony did decide on horror movie veteran Ruben Fleischer, who had directed Zombieland and would later direct its sequel, Zombieland: Double Tap. Fleischer’s guidance would make for a darker Venom movie that embraced its messy, cosmic-horror origins – though, interestingly enough, Andy Serkis’ Venom: Let There Be Carnage would tonally lean more in the direction of what Sandberg went with for Shazam!.

Sandberg’s admission does paint a picture of an interesting alternate superhero filmmaking landscape, in which he brought his horror experience to Sony’s Spider-Man Universe, but the DCEU is certainly lucky to have him. In the franchise’s attempt to transition out of the Snyderverse era, Shazam! has proven a refreshing alternative for fans, and recent projects have pivoted even more toward that movie’s lighthearted approach. It may be tantalizing to imagine what could’ve come from his Venom movie, but it’s ultimately a good thing that his first superhero project was one that encouraged Sandberg to explore the silly side of having superpowers.

Source: ponysmasher on Instagram

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