First Taste Of The ‘Shazam!’ Theme Evokes The Best Of John Williams

If there’s one thing the DCEU has done somewhat correctly since day one, it’s in the creation of memorable themes to accompany their onscreen heroes ever since DC mainstay Hans Zimmer brought audiences his epic Man of Steel motif in 2013, an exciting piece of music rich in roughly every signature Zimmer-ism from heavy percussion to electronic sweeps and staccato strings appropriate of a 21st century update of Superman. Wonder Woman herself received a creative, thunderous theme upon her introduction in 2016’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, and even Aquaman was subject to Rupert Gregson-Williams’ Remote Control Productions (a group of composers overseen by Zimmer himself) and another rather neat buzzingly digital score. That said, it hasn’t been without his missteps-Steven Price’s work on 2016’s Suicide Squad was disappointingly buried in the mix underneath an overstuffed soundtrack of rock songs, and Junkie XL was replaced on 2017’s Justice League by Danny Elfman, who previously contributed the iconic theme for Batman during the Caped Crusader’s first two Tim Burton-led outings in 1989 & 1992. Elfman, strangely, decided to withdraw from the dark mood Zimmer & company had built up to that point for DC’s theatrical offerings and not only brought back his Batman music but also resurrected John Williams’ classic Superman theme, an unusual choice that most agree simply didn’t work within the confines of the gloomy world Zack Snyder had largely created.

Now, however, the DCEU is poised to bring us Shazam!, and with it a brighter, decidedly more lighthearted appearance that appears to be a continuation from that seen in Aquaman accompanied by a wealth of humor and an overall about-face that looks to skew more toward what the MCU has brought audiences than anything else. With Shazam! comes a new theme for its hero, one brought to us by director David F. Sandberg collaborator Benjamin Wallfisch that, despite Wallfisch having also come from Zimmer’s crew, is a soaring, majestic tune that owes a massive high-five to Williams with shades of Superman, Star Wars, Ready Player One and even Hook. Seemingly a Best-Of concoction, this is a wonderful piece of music that evokes nostalgia, the feel of a Saturday morning cartoon and is John Williams in the best way possible. This is the shot in the arm the music of the DCEU needs, and has done nothing to satiate my excitement for this film.

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WaterTower music has also released this, seemingly set to accompany a scene between the titular character and villain Doctor Sivana (Mark Strong).

Directed by David F. Sandberg, Shazam! stars Zachary Levi, Asher Angel as Billy Batson, Grace Fulton as Mary Marvel, Jack Dylan Grazer as Freddy Freedman, Cooper Andrews and Marta Milans as Victor and Rosa Vasquez, Faithe Herman as Darla, Ian Chen as Eugene, Jovan Armand as Pedro, and Mark Strong as Doctor Sivana. Check out the synopsis below:

“We all have a superhero inside us, it just takes a bit of magic to bring it out.  In Billy Batson’s (Angel) case, by shouting out one word—SHAZAM!—this streetwise 14-year-old foster kid can turn into the adult Super Hero Shazam (Levi), courtesy of an ancient wizard.  Still a kid at heart—inside a ripped, godlike body—Shazam revels in this adult version of himself by doing what any teen would do with superpowers: have fun with them!  Can he fly?  Does he have X-ray vision?  Can he shoot lightning out of his hands?  Can he skip his social studies test?  Shazam sets out to test the limits of his abilities with the joyful recklessness of a child.  But he’ll need to master these powers quickly in order to fight the deadly forces of evil controlled by Dr. Thaddeus Sivana (Strong).

Shazam! hits theaters on April 5th.