David L. Sandberg previously directed the DC Comics movie Shazam and he’s just about finished with Shazam 2, currently scheduled to debut this Christmas season. Shazam was a real surprise to come out of Warner Bros as most of their DC Comics movies were posed as being darker and grittier. The titular hero is the teenage boy Billy Batson who is able to conjure magical powers that transform him into an adult superhero by simply shouting “Shazam!” The movie was a real charmer, especially for the big surprise in the final scene.
During the last scene, Billy decides to help out his new brother by appearing as Shazam in the lunchroom, instantly raising the coolness levels of the room. And as an added bonus, he brings along a surprise guest: Superman! Well, Superman from the neck down. There’s been some questioning if Sandberg plans to include more Superman in his next movie or even direct a Superman movie of his own. After all, there was some criticism that his direction feels more kid-friendly for evoking that Richard Donner style of direction seen in Superman: The Motion Picture. Well, don’t get your hopes up.
Sandberg recently held an AMA session on Instagram and the question of directing a Superman came up. He responded with this answer about why he won’t do a Superman movie:
“At one point I would have said Superman, but when there are so many different expectations and hardcore fans you’re going to piss off so many people no matter what you do. Seeing how people react to things like The Last Jedi makes me want to stay away from things like that. Shazam! was perfect in that there hadn’t been that many adaptations before. There are still people who think it was done wrong, but it was on a manageable level.”
Basically, Sandberg is afraid of taking on a project that may have too many cooks in the kitchen. It’s understandable given how much lack of control David Ayer had over Suicide Squad and Zack Snyder had over Justice League. He seems to have enough control over the Shazam property that he’s content to work on this series.
Sandberg’s latest DC Comics movie, Shazam 2: Fury of the Gods, will be premiering in theaters on December 16th, 2022.