Spoilers for Shazam! follow below.
While the DC movie Shazam! is very clearly a standalone film, there is one major DCEU connection in the movie’s final scene. Zachary Levi’s heroic Shazam! finally comes to school to have lunch with Freddy Freeman (Jack Dylan Grazer), but he also brings along another superhero friend to impress Freddy’s schoolmates: Superman. As the film stands now, we never see Superman’s face and the film ends with Freddy’s glorious reaction, but originally actor Henry Cavill was indeed supposed to have a cameo as the Man of Steel.
It was previously rumored that Warner Bros. was trying to work out a cameo for Cavill in Shazam! but scheduling conflicts were getting in the way. Shazam! producer Peter Safran confirmed as much in an interview with ComicBook.com (via The Playlist):
“At one point, we’d hoped it was going to be Cavill doing it, but unfortunately his schedule didn’t allow him to do it. We still wanted to do it anyway, and it turned out to be better, because it let us do a hard cut on Freddy’s reaction, because if we had Cavill there, we’d actually written lines, they had a dialogue, but then it’s a little bit of a hat on hat, because really what it’s about is Freddy’s reaction, so we got to get out on that.”
This notion of scheduling conflicts is curious. Shazam! was in production from January to May of 2018, and Cavill was filming Mission: Impossible – Fallout during that time, but the Mission sequel wrapped in late March. That should have given Cavill enough time to pop over to the Toronto set of Shazam! and shoot a cameo, and there have been rumors that Cavill is out as Superman altogether so perhaps Warner Bros. didn’t want to commit to Cavill’s Superman anew. Although it’s possible he had some other non-filming schedule conflict that prevented him from making it, and the “scheduling conflicts” excuse is indeed true.
Whatever the case, it would’ve been pretty great to see Cavill chatting it up with Freddy Freeman. He’s a tremendous actor and I still don’t think he’s been used to his potential as Superman yet, which is why I’m really hoping we get a proper Man of Steel sequel with Cavill before he departs the DCEU altogether. Fingers crossed.
In the meantime, Shazam! is a delight, and that one is definitely getting a sequel. Maybe Cavill can swing by then?