The DC movie universe has been dying for a long time now. Ever since the original Justice League, it’s been clear things weren’t quite working, and that the overarching vision for the future of these franchises was never coming to pass. And while every movie since then has felt like it could easily be the ending of the cinematic universe or a new beginning for it, especially since James Gunn and Peter Safran officially took over DC movies and started crafting their new version of the universe, it finally feels like things are coming to a close. Which might be why Shazam! Fury of the Gods’ new trailer feels so weird.
Shazam! 2’s latest trailer was released on Thursday and it appears to give away almost the entire movie. There are big reveals and huge brawls, lots of jokes, and even what looks to be the movie’s climactic fight. But none of it quite feels like it matters, either dramatically or as part of a larger world.
As recently as San Diego Comic-Con 2022, Warner Bros. was all in on the old new-version of the DCEU. This time things would be centered around the Shazam family, with Black Adam coming in as an anti-hero, or maybe even a villain, and the Justice Society playing an important role. But after Black Adam’s disappointing run at the box office, and with the new regime taking over the cinematic reins, we know none of that is still in the cards.
Despite the feeling of the DC universe coming to an end, it technically isn’t the last gasp. In fact, there’s still a Flash movie that will supposedly come out one day, and Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom is set for the end of 2023.
Even if the first Shazam! proved to be one of the more fun and effective recent DC efforts, it’s hard not to feel like the sequel is the accidental last episode of a TV series that was canceled in the middle of a season. Sure, it could still be enjoyable, but it’s hard to be more excited about what’s next than what’s never going to be.
Shazam! Fury of the Gods is set for release in theaters on March 17.