David F. Sandberg Brings A Sam Raimi Quality To SHAZAM!

Filmmaker David F. Sandberg is best known for his work on Lights Out and Annabelle: Creation, but next month he enters the superhero genre with Shazam!.

Shazam! stars Zachary Levi as the title character, and after a screening in Miami, we talked with Levi about what Sanberg brought from his horror background to this fun, family-centric movie. Without spoiling the film, there are several scenes in Shazam! that have a Sami Raimi feel to them.

“You have to tell so much story just with camera movement in horror movies, like creeping around a corner and revealing something or whatever. So he (Sandberg) and Maxime*, our incredible DP, were able to really paint, I think, a lot of beautiful frames first of all, but then also use all of that to really illustrate and bolster that storytelling, and make the stuff that was dark and creepy, genuinely dark and creepy. I mean, that’s like an Amblin movie or something PG-13 from back in the day. There were moments where I was like, wow, this could be really too creepy for a really young kid. Which is kind of great, because you are servicing adults and families and kids and everybody. So I think that’s awesome, what he did,” said Levi.

*director of photography Maxime Alexandre

Watch our full interview with Levi, Asher Angel, and Jack Dylan Grazer below.

Shazam! hits theaters on April 3, with special Fandango screenings on March 23.

Written by Henry Gayden and Darren Lemke, the film stars Levi, Mark Strong, Asher Angel, Jack Dylan Grazer, Djimon Hounsou, Faithe Herman, Grace Fulton, Ian Chen, Jovan Armand, Marta Milans, and Cooper Andrews.

The music is by Benjamin Wallfisch, who worked on Blade Runner 2049, IT, and Annabelle: Creation.

About the film:
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 was created by Bill Parker and C.C. Beck.


Are you going to see Shazam! opening night? Comment below with your thoughts.

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Matthew Sardo
Matthew Sardo
As the founder of Monkeys Fighting Robots, I'm currently training for my next job as an astronaut cowboy. Reformed hockey goon, comic book store owner, video store clerk, an extra in 'Transformers: Dark of the Moon,' 'Welcome Back Freshman,' and for one special day, I was a Ghostbuster.

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