Presumed First Shazam Photo Reveals Why First Is Not Always Best

by Erik Amaya


The apparent first photo of Zachary Levi as Captain Marvel Shazam surfaced on the internet today and it leaves something to be desired.

Submitted to Reddit by user vivaelsam, the photo quickly made it out of the DC Cinematic subreddit and out into the wider world. Of course, the user hedged their bets by questioning the authenticity of the photo. Is it real? Judge for yourself:

PHOTO: First Look at Shazam? from r/DC_Cinematic

Like the paparazzi shots of Brie Larson in costume a few weeks ago, this particular photo leaves plenty to be desired. Though it seems to reveal that Shazam’s costume will be fairly accurate to his current comic book design, it really only gives you a good angle on the cape and in the harsh light of day, the costume looks a little … goofy.

Director David F. Sandberg has mentioned that the costume will reflect the current design, as seen in the photo. C.C. Beck’s original design saw the Big Red Cheese wearing a loose, off-the-shoulder cape with a bit of a collar. It remained this way for decades until Billy Batson ascended to wizard status and Freddie Freeman took his place as the Mightiest Mortal. His predominately white costume featured the hood and full cape which was later incorporated into Billy’s costume when the DC Universe rebooted. So if this is a fake, good on the fakers for remembering those details.

But should the photo above turn out to be genuine — and we’re going to hedge out bets on its authenticity as well — it would’ve been nice for New Line Cinema to get ahead of paparazzi and lucky fans by releasing the first photo themselves with better lighting and a proper look at the front. But it seems studios never move as fast as the Internet and its thirst to be first.

At the same time, being first leads to photos like these and the Larson snaps in the green Kree armor. In both cases, there is the opportunity for fan confidence to wane. Although, it seems from the response on Reddit, that accuracy of detail goes a long way to boasting morale. Nonetheless, the moral here is to get ahead and have the photo ready before your actors hit the set in their costumes. And maybe don’t Photoshop them too much. You’ll be glad you did.

Shazam! is set to debut on April 5th, 2019.

Erik Amaya

Host of Tread Perilously and a Film/TV Writer at and Rotten Tomatoes. A former staff writer at CBR and Bleeding Cool, and a contributing writer at Fanbase Press and Monkeys Fighting Robots. Voice of Puppet Tommy on The Room Responds. A seeker of the Seastone Chair and the owner of a Legion Flight Ring. Sorted into Gryffindor, which came as some surprise.

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