After another spectacular opening weekend box office, the DCEU is looking bright thanks to the comedic and action-packed hit film Shazam. The story of a young foster kid who finds himself with spectacular powers and must learn what it means to be a hero really resonated with audiences, as did the hilarious antics that the hero and his superhero loving best friend/foster brother get into. Yes, Shazam made a huge impact on audiences this past weekend, but that’s not the only impact the film had. Adding its stellar box office to films like Aquaman and Wonder Woman, DC is finally starting to establish a successful DCEU that focuses on establishing its heroes and having audiences relate to them. Yet what does that mean for the future of the DCEU?
While the focus for DC and Warner Bros. seems to be on telling individual stories, Shazam did prove that little nods to the previous films and other heroes were possible to keep the film connected to the larger DCEU without ruining the heart of the films story. With that in mind, (and a confirmation already that Shazam 2 is moving forward at the studio,) what does the future look like for the heroes of DC Comics? Will fans get a new Superman and Batman to lead the heroes into a second Justice League film? Will magic become a cornerstone of the DCEU much like the cosmic side did for the MCU?
That’s what we’re here to explore today, so let’s take a look at 25 crazy fan theories that talk about the future of the DCEU after the release of Shazam.
24 More Magical Storylines
One of the big things about the DCEU that could be shown going forward is the magical side of the comic book company. We have been seeing a lot of things involving vigilante heroics and “saviors” from other worlds coming to our aid. Yet the magical side of the DC Universe has been kept primarily to television shows.
With Shazam a major hit, it’s likely fans will be eager to explore the magical world more, especially with some of the wilder characters of that magical universe being just strange enough to capture audience’s attention much like the Guardians of the Galaxy did for MCU fans.
23 Emphasis On Horror
Things have been getting a bit scary and unnerving in the recent spate of DC Comics films. Shazam proves that fans are eager to delve into the scarier aspects of the DC Universe. Between Aquaman introducing those frightening creatures from the Trench in his solo film, and now Shazam showing off the haunting demonic entities known as the Seven Deadly Sins, DC is banking on fans being eager to see some powerful and scary villains and enemies make their way into their hero’s stories.
22 Superman Recast
During the end of the film, fans saw a surprise cameo from none other than Superman himself, albeit with a shot of the hero only from the neck down. This confirms rumors that Henry Cavill was too busy and couldn’t move around his schedule to film the cameo himself. This has led to speculation by fans (and fueled by the incomplete information provided by both Warner Bros. and Cavill himself,) that the actor won’t renew his contract and Superman will be recast in future films. This would be a big loss as the actor has become a fan favorite representation of the iconic DC hero.
21 Even More Everyday Heroes
One thing that is of note to DC fans is that Billy Bastion is the first superhero to get his own film where he was just an average person, in this case a foster kid, who gained powers. In the previous films, we’ve seen heroes who were pretty larger than life (Superman is the last survivor of an alien world, Batman is a multi-billionaire, Wonder Woman is a demigod, Aquaman is an all powerful king of a long lost civilization.) Yet in this film, it’s a young teenage kid who gains these all powerful abilities. This could be DC’s way of saying they are going to invest in characters and films that people could relate to on a more personal level.
20 Council Of Wizards
In Shazam, the elderly and nearly de-powered wizard of the same name tells Billy he is the last of a council of wizards who guarded the Rock of Eternity, and that they were his brothers and sisters as well. The introduction of the wizard, and his namedrop of his family and fellow council members, could leave room for the council to return in future films, either in this franchise or in another way. Perhaps in a certain antihero’s solo film? More on that later.
19 Injustice League
After the film establishes that Sivana survived and met a most unlikely new ally, (more on that later,) fans began to speculate what the villain's future may be. Well, considering the recent DC films have established that their foes tend to survive, unlike many previous superhero films that saw the villains destroyed, it has been speculated that the future of the DCEU may include a team of super villains.
One such possible team has to be the Injustice League. With Lex Luthor and Deathstroke remarking that they should form a team of their own after the events of Justice League (the film,) and now villains like Sivana or Orm from Aquaman surviving their battles with the heroes, it appears a team of super villains may be making their way to theaters in the future.
18 Shazam Joins The Justice League
As mentioned before, it was shown that in the final moments of the film, somehow Shazam had come to meet Superman, as he got the hero to show up at his school to surprise Freddy for lunch. While a fun shout out for the film, the scene begs the question: how did Billy meet Superman? Considering the power the hero Shazam displayed in his film, it seems likely that with Darkseid still looming as a threat for the planet, Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman would want to recruit someone like Billy into the league.
17 Time For The Immortals
Something that recent DC Comics events like Dark Nights: Metal have established is that a society of those who are immortal does exist in the DC Universe. Characters like Vandal Savage and Kendra Saunders are a part of this council, and with the introduction of the wizard Shazam, the question of immortality has come into the DCEU. If a character like that existed for centuries like that in the film universe, what other characters exist? Could Savage or Saunders or any of the other immortals make a cinematic debut?
16 Focus On Individuality
Shazam, if nothing else, proved that the DC Extended Universe had finally found the perfect formula for its future films. This formula is pretty simple: let the directors find the right tone and voice for their films, rather than be locked into a larger picture for the entire universe overall. We saw this success in films like Wonder Woman and Aquaman, the first of which focused on history and mythology, and the second of which focused on a mixture of mythology and horror. Shazam’s humorous take on superheroes has become a critical success, and proves that a focus on individual films will help strengthen the overall film universe in the future.
15 Other Dimensions
One thing that was briefly explored in the film was the concept of other dimensions connecting the DC Universe. When looking to escape the seven sins, the Shazam family find a room near the Rock of Eternity with a vast array of doors. These doors lead to magical realms that featured different creatures trying to escape. This teases the use of other dimensions in the DCEU. The use of other dimensions has been a popular thing in the DC universe. With magic being introduced and several heroes connected to magic, the possibilities are endless.
14 Doctor Fate
Speaking of pocket dimensions and magic, there is one powerful character that has been teased both in television and films in the DCEU, but no appearance has been made as of yet. One thing this use of other dimensions brings to mind is the character Doctor Fate.
A member of the Justice Society of America and an all powerful magical being, the hero resides in a pocket dimension outside of our own, and is the mysterious defender of both fate and chaos magic. Could one of the doors shown in Shazam lead to Doctor Fate’s dimensional home world?
13 Introduction Of The Multiverse
Another aspect of the other dimensions shown in the film is the existence of one of DC’s most popular aspects: the Multiverse. An actual theory in our own world, the concept of the multiverse is that there are several universes that exist on different levels or frequencies or whatever you want to call it. The most popular use of this has been in The CW’s The Flash, and in the comics we see this in events like Crisis on Infinite Earth’s or DC’s Dark Nights: Metal.
12 Superman’s Introduction To Magic
With magic finally getting a proper introduction into the DCEU, the question has arisen as to how Superman and Shazam meet, and how it leads to the Man of Steel coming to Billy’s school at the end of the film. One thing that comes to mind, as well, is Superman’s weakness to magical attacks. In the film universe, only Kryptonite has been able to truly affect and hurt the last son of Krypton. Yet with it being revealed that many different people can harness magic, (like Sivana and his connection to the seven deadly sins,) its only a matter of time before the Man of Steel learns his vulnerability to magical attacks.
11 Justice League: Dark
One film that was teased years ago was a Justice League: Dark film by none other than master horror storyteller and director Guillermo Del Toro. While the project definitely stalled, the introduction of magic and pocket dimensions makes now the perfect time to explore the horror based team of heroes.
With Matt Ryan’s Constantine becoming a fan favorite on The CW and Swamp Thing set to premiere on the DC Universe network, fans are showing their acceptance of horror based and magical based storytelling. Whether it’s set in the DCEU or a part of the separate, Elseworlds style storytelling Warner Bros. is exploring in films like the upcoming Joker film, now is the perfect time to bring Constantine, Zatanna, Dead Man, and others into the Justice League: Dark and bring this film to light finally.
10 Humor Works
One thing that fans hadn’t liked about early films in the DCEU was the dark nature of the films. They were very serious stories with very little to no humor. While this writer personally enjoyed those films and thinks those particular stories fit that style, Shazam has proven that humor infused into their hero’s storylines works well. In fact, it’s one of the highest rated films in the DCEU now. With that in mind, funnier, sometimes sillier and even dark humor based heroes like Marvel’s Deadpool could make an appearance in the future. With films like the DC Super Pets in the works already and characters like Plastic Man or Booster Gold sitting in the wings, now is the perfect time to strike on humorous superheroes.
9 The Crocodile-Men
One thing that was teased a couple of times in the Shazam film was the use of crocodiles. In a small nod, we saw a plastic crocodile toy near a badge bearing a striking resemblance to the Watchman smiley face button. Yet it was when the door room was found later in the film that we got a hint of a future henchmen, or multiple henchmen. One of the doors featured a room where three crocodile men were sitting around a poker table, and proceeded to try and escape. These could have been Herklmer, Jorrk, and Sylvester, three of the top Crocodile-Men for a specific villain teased in the film’s after credits scene (more on that later.)
8 Woman In The Mirror
During the film, one object that was teased in the background of the Rock of Eternity was a magical mirror. While not addressed in this film, this mirror could come into play in the future, as it houses a mysterious woman named Francesca, who in the comics could only be seen by Shazam and a powerful figure named Metron.
She guided Billy as he learned more about his own power and how to be a hero. She also appeared during the Darkseid War to try and persuade Metron to make different decisions, but failed. With Darkseid still a looming presence and Shazam likely to get a sequel as well, her appearance seems likely.
7 The DCEU Joker’s Return
While Joaquin Phoenix is set to play the Joker in a unique origin story for the villain set outside of the main DC universe, (in Warner Bros.' Elseworlds based films,) Jared Leto was last seen as the Clown Prince of Crime in the DCEU in Suicide Squad. While not the most beloved film in the universe, fans have eagerly awaited a chance to see Leto’s Joker and his true potential as his role was downgraded in that film.
Well, in Shazam, a nod to the Joker teases his role in the DCEU as the warehouse Shazam and Freddy train in is owned by Ace Chemicals. The company is well known as a major location in Gotham and is the place where the Joker was born, as whoever he was before fell into a vat of chemicals and changed his appearance and mind forever. It’s also where he took Harley Quinn to be reborn in his image.
6 Younger Heroes
Another aspect that Shazam introduced was the idea of younger people rising up to become the heroes of their own story, not relying on others to save them but showing their own strength and courage in the face of danger. With these younger people becoming hero’s themselves, the question arises of other young heroes that could join the DCEU. Already younger heroes have appeared in the DC Universe network on Titans, but perhaps characters like Jaimie Reyes’ Blue Beetle or Damien Wayne, son of Batman and Talia Al Ghul, could make their DCEU debuts in future films. This could especially work in a humorous film with Booster Gold and Blue Beetle, who are notorious friends in the DC Universe.
5 The Shazam Family
The biggest twist in the Shazam film came with the early introduction of the Shazam family. Formerly the Marvel family back in the “Captain Marvel/Fawcett Comics” days, the Shazam Family is the combined might of Billy’s foster brothers and sisters, joining together to share his power and becoming heroes themselves.
With Mary Marvel and Marvel Jr (Mary and Freddy respectively,) coming out as the top heroes in that battle in the film, the Shazam family’s introduction sets up the future of Shazam in the DCEU, as his family and himself battle future threats together.
4 The Monsterlands
One of the big and pretty out there teases that sets up the future of the DCEU and fans are now theorizing on is the introduction of the Monsterlands. This fictitious dimension is one of seven magical lands that reside in the DC Universe, alongside Billy’s world known as Earthlands. The door room teased this, with some doors like Mary’s leading to a nightmarish world filled with monsters. How do we know this however? It’s because of the surprising introduction of…
3 Mister Mind
…the villain known as Mister Mind. In the first post credits scene of the film, Dr. Sivana is introduced to Mister Mind in his prison cell. Introduced early in the film as a background character, the magical and alien worm creature is a highly intelligent villain and one of the most powerful telepaths in the world. It took the combined might of the Council to defeat him and imprison him, but it came at the cost of losing Solomon. With the villain now loose and teaming up with Sivana, it looks like Shazam and his family are going to be in the fight of their lives. Yet how is a depowered Sivana and this telepathic worm going to stand a chance against the Shazam family? It might be the formation of…
2 Black Adam Origin Story
One of the things teased early on in the film was Shazam’s greatest nemesis, Black Adam. Telling Billy the story of the Council of Wizards, he told the story of a champion centuries earlier who used the power of the council to destroy and seek revenge, which ended up releasing the seven deadly sins on the world.
The comic book history expands on this, showing the council had to imprison Black Adam, who was a slave who used this power to end the lives of the slavers and became a ruler of the forgotten kingdom of Khandaq. With Dwayne Johnson already cast as the antihero, his origin story and solo film is now teased and set up for fans to see in the future.
1 Shazam Vs. Black Adam
One of the things that has been teased and seems likely is that the success of the film will drive creators and directors to make a sequel pretty quickly. With a majority of the cast younger kids who grow quickly, it will be imperative to film a sequel at least before they grow too much. While it seems likely that Mister Mind will be the next foe to face Shazam, it’s hard to imagine that Black Adam won’t at least make an appearance, if not become the main villain in the end. Not only is he Shazam’s greatest foe and a champion (albeit fallen) himself, but he has also been a member of the Monster Society of Evil as well and could make for a perfect introduction.