‘Shazam!’ Reaction: Zachary Levi’s Superhero Stint Is a Jolly Good Time (Video)

TheWrap’s resident fanboy Umberto Gonzalez and film reporter Beatrice Verhoeven give their thoughts on DC’s newest entry

[Spoiler alert: Do not read on or watch the video above if you are worried about “Shazam!” spoilers or teasers.]

Guys, DC has done it. We have an entertaining, lighthearted superhero movie that awakens the child in all of us, but also, at times, can give us a big fright.

David F. Sandberg directs Zachary Levi and Asher Angel in this superhero iteration that follows a kid who can transform into a muscular, good-looking superhero by simply saying “Shazam!”

Watch the video above.

Warner Bros./New Line’s “Shazam!” got its first round of opening weekend estimates, with independent trackers setting it at a $40 million launch.

Although that would be a drop from the $72.5 million launch “Aquaman” had in December en route to a $334 million domestic/$1.14 billion global gross, there’s still plenty of reason for optimism for this lighter, sillier DC film.

For starters, it was made on a smaller budget. While “Aquaman” was reported to have a budget well north of $150 million, individuals with knowledge of the production tell TheWrap that the budget for “Shazam!” was closer to $100 million, similar to what Sony spent on its 2018 comic book hit “Venom.”

Along with the lower price tag, “Shazam!” has enjoyed positive social media buzz since its first trailer debuted at San Diego Comic-Con last year. Telling the story of a teenage boy who gains the ability to transform into an adult superhero, “Shazam!” has won over fans with marketing that has promised a more humorous and lower-stakes movie than many of DC’s recent films.

“Shazam!” follows foster child Billy Batson (Angel), who is chosen as “Champion of Eternity” by an ancient wizard (Djimon Hounsou) and granted the ability to transform into the superhero Shazam (Levi). With the help of his foster brother and superhero fanatic Freddy (Jack Dylan Grazer), Billy learns to master his powers and takes them out for a joyride, But when his newfound abilities attract the interest of the twisted industrialist Dr. Thaddeus Sivana (Mark Strong), Billy is forced to get serious.

“Shazam!” is directed by Sandberg from a script by Henry Gayden, with Peter Safran producing. It hits theaters April 5.