Warner Bros. is betting on a new kind of superhero movie with “Shazam!”

Being a DC superhero can actually be quite fun. Who knew?
Being a DC superhero can actually be quite fun. Who knew?
Image: Warner Bros.
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Shazam! could show a new side of Warner Bros.’s dark, gritty DC movie universe.

Warner Bros. dropped the first trailer for the upcoming film, due out in spring 2019, at San Diego Comic Con on Saturday.

Based on a comic book character, the movie follows foster teen Billy Batson as he’s granted super powers by an ancient wizard. By speaking the magic word, “shazam,” he morphs into a costume-clad, bulletproof adult, Captain Marvel, who has superhuman strength and other abilities. Unlike DC’s brooding heroes Batman and Superman, Batson appears to actually be enjoying his newfound powers.

The trailer invokes some of the dark, gritty style director Zack Snyder set up for the DC extended universe that began with Man of Steel, now officially called the Worlds of DCBut it quickly abandons all of that to show the lighter, brighter side of being a superhero. Snyder, whose vision has defined much of the Worlds of DC thus far, doesn’t have a hand in this film. It’s directed by David Sandberg of Annabelle:Creation and stars Zachary Levi, best known for Chuck.

Since launching its DC movie universe in 2013, Warner Bros. has struggled to match the success of rival Marvel Studios, which has churned out hit after hit for a decade. Some DC movies, like Wonder Woman, were raving successes, but the majority, like Justice League, were duds. Shazam! could open the DC movie-verse to new audiences.

Like Deadpool and Kick-Ass before it, it appears to be a refreshing entry into the genre that shows superhero movies don’t have to be so serious.