At San Diego Comic-Con, which was held last weekend, DCEU fans were introduced to the official trailer of Shazam! Fury of the Gods at the H Hall panel dedicated to DC and Warner Bros.’ projects. Fans were elated to see Billy Batson back on the big screen, after seeing him last in 2019. The trailer gave us a first look into what’s next for our favorite, young hero — an existential crisis seems to be on the top of the list. However, what is intriguing to the fans is something entirely different.
David F. Sandberg Addresses Peacemaker Connection
What intrigued the fans in the new Shazam trailer went beyond Billy Batson’s existential crisis or the introduction of new villains in the second installment; what fans were truly wondering about happened to be hidden in the museum scene in the movie’s first look. In a background that was quite blurry, a character bearing resemblance to Jamil, played by Rizwan Manji in DC’s James Gunn-directed Peacemaker, could be seen. Fans took to Twitter, in hopes of some answers. Director David F. Sandberg was more than willing to provide the fans with a humorous reply.
In a tweet, Sandberg confirmed what a lot of fans were speculating.
Yes that's Rizwan. Peter Safran recommended him for a part after working with him on Peacemaker. I said "but that's the same universe". He said "he's barely in Peacemaker". Little did I know Rizwan is even dancing in the credits! Could be same character 🤷♂️ Never named in Shazam 2 https://t.co/50rh5l76xo
— David F. Sandberg (@ponysmasher) July 29, 2022
Apparently, the guy in the blurred background is indeed Rizwan Manji. With James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad spinoff, Peacemaker, which features actors like John Cena, Danielle Brooks, Freddie Stroma, and others, Manji made his DC Extended Universe debut previously this year. In the series, we saw Jamil as the janitor at Mount Rouge Health Center, who was a great comic relief and immediately became a fan favorite among long-time DC connoisseurs.
One of the most memorable aspects of Manji’s character was the friendship he shared with the lead of the series, Christopher Smith, played by pro-wrestler John Cena. While the Shazam! director confirmed the involvement of Rizwan in the sequel, he is unsure whether it’s the same character as that in the Gunn-directed series. In his own words, the blurred guy was “never named” in the movie.
Will We See John Cena In Shazam! Fury of the Gods?
The confirmation from Sandberg was enough to send the fans reeling over a potential crossover between the Suicide Squad spin-off and Shazam. Some Twitter theorists are wondering whether we would get to see Christopher Smith, portrayed by John Cena in the second installment of Shazam. While no such details have been ascertained as of yet, a potential connection between the two franchises might be a possibility. However, at the moment, Gunn treated Manji’s involvement in Sandberg’s upcoming movie as a humorous coincidence and said that the “unnamed” character might as well be Jamil’s much better-off brother.
Manji’s comedic role in the series was enjoyable. However, it is yet to be seen whether his unknown unnamed character in Shazam 2 can add some weight to the movie.
While Shazam! Fury of the Gods is set for a 21 December 2022 release, Peacemaker is available for streaming on HBO Max.