To many casual fans, Superman and Shazam (formerly known as Captain Marvel) are very similar. Mistakenly, people will refer to Shazam as “electrical Superman” as he has a similar appearance and abilities to The Man of Steel, even posing as him during DC’s FUTURES END event. With the Shazam releasing soon, this may be the first time in decades Shazam is more popular to modern audiences than Superman.
Now that’s a bold statement and Superman is still going to be a top 3 most popular character globally but for a moment Shazam may command an audience on film Superman hasn’t been able to in years. You can blame this on the mixed to poor reception of Man of Steel or Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice but with Aquaman breaking $1 billion in box office it’s possible. This will undoubtedly result in a Shazam 2 entering production which is likely to feature Dwayne Johnson’s Black Adam.
Dwayne Johnson’s Black Adam was originally envisioned to star opposite of Zachary Levi’s Shazam (before he was cast) until it was announced Black Adam would be getting a solo film instead. This likely indicated that Shazam was going to be an origin story for both Billy Batson and Teth Adam. This is reminiscent of the Superman/Shazam: The Return of Black Adam animated movie that was released in 2010 as a short 25-minute film. The other character in that story, Superman, is rumored to have a cameo in the live-action film.
The exact nature of the cameo is speculated, with people saying everything from it being Superman without showing Henry Cavill’s head to Henry Cavill being shown and present. Regardless of either, having Superman show up would help build a connection between the two which could translate towards a team-up for Shazam 2. This wouldn’t be too crazy of thought since Dwayne Johnson and Henry Cavill share an agent besides having meetings for a potential Superman/Black Adam moment within the DCEU.
With these pieces in place, it’s likely that Shazam 2 could provide a backstory element for Black Adam while also utilizing Superman which builds from his reported cameo in the first film. WB likely will want to get Johnson’s Black Adam an appearance sooner than later as he’s one of the busiest actors in the industry.
Having Superman help mentor Shazam would be a nice addition to the DCEU as legacy characters and mentors/mentees are a large part of what makes DC Comics unique vs Marvel. This has been explored in shows such as Young Justice, which Shazam also appears in, which could be a creative way to “pass the torch” should WB suspend a Superman project for good. This would be after Cavill officially retires, assuming Levi’s Shazam is going strong.