Changes are happening in the DC movie universe, which means that certain DCEU storyline setups may be left hanging.
Shazam: Fury of the Gods has not just one, but two credit sequences. The first one lays out a possible plan for the boy hero’s future, while the second one parodies post credit scenes themselves and how not all of them always end up paying off. This is the first DC movie to come out after the recent shake up at the organization. The DCEU (DC Extended Universe) will now be known as the DCU (simply DC Universe), with James Gunn and Peter Safran shifting the course of the shared movie universe.
The pair are letting the completed projects drop in theaters while commencing the restructuring of their redesigned chapter; a string of film and television series Gunn has titled “Gods and Monsters”. This big studio “course correction” may be the keenest indicator that planned storylines will deviate or be scrapped altogether. The most overt and publicized about-face of an end-credit’s stinger is for Black Adam – the spot featured Henry Cavill’s Superman confronting Dwayne Johnson’s Black Adam, setting up either an immense clash or team-up. But, weeks later, Gunn announced that the Superman character would be moving forward in his franchise without Henry Cavill.
On top of that shocker, there is no mention of Black Adam in James Gunn’s plans, so it is not assumed the tease will be achieved with a different Man Of Steel actor; more likely it merely will not materialize in the DC Universe. The revamped lineup also knocked Wonder Woman 3 out of pre-production, which leads to the erasure of another mid-scroll scene. Wonder Woman 1984 interrupted its credits to introduce Lynda Carter as the idolized Amazonian Asteria. Unlike Henry Cavill, Gal Gadot may stick around, and even appeared in Fury of the Gods, so although the likelihood of Wonder Woman meeting up with Asteria has significantly decreased, perhaps Gunn will choose to include that collaboration down the line.
Going back to the Fury of the Gods credit cookies, one sequence actually comments on a plotline that may have never transpired even without the recent studio overhaul. The first Shazam snuck in a button scene that checks in on Doctor Sivana in prison, as the alien caterpillar, Mister Mind, starts to concoct a villainous plan. This hints at the plot potential for a Shazam sequel that is completely sidetracked in Fury of the Gods. But instead of pretending that this never happened, or that movie-goers left the theater once the proper movie ended, director David Sandberg brings the pair back for the sequel’s post-credits.
Doctor Sivana is stuck in the same cell and Mister Mind visits him years after their first encounter. It turns out that the evil worm is still putting his plan together, it just takes him awhile to get around to places. This funny spot definitely extends the tone of the movies and is more satisfying than ignoring the first Shazam’s mid-credits. But it also acknowledges that post-film promises are not always realized in future projects, even when sequels are greenlit. And now that the DC Universe is being reshaped and rebuilt, one can imagine a world where Sivana stays in prison forever because there is a more than likely chance that he and Mister Mind will not be brought in to the upcoming content.
The other Fury of the Gods stinger integrates Amanda Waller’s team members into the narrative. Harcourt offers to recruit Shazam to Waller’s Justice Society – Billy is disappointed that he is not being courted by the Justice League. While the Superman tease at the end of Black Adam was practically dead on arrival, this development has an inkling of potential, but could still be considered a long shot. Viola Davis’ Waller is a part of James Gunn’s configuration, so anything is possible, but so far there is no word of Shazam being included in any capacity going forward.
Part of the problem with DC’s post-credit promises is a lack of consistency and coordination throughout the franchise. Justice League ended with Lex Luthor hiring Deathstroke. If a sequel was produced, could this angle have been explored? Sure, however flaws in the overall movie universe prevented another team-up collaboration.
So perhaps now that Warner Brothers has handed the DC reins to James Gunn, he can control a more cohesive structure across the various content. He could continue to capitalize on the fan satisfaction of after-credits scenes paying off, just as he has done in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, as well as his only DC film thus far, The Suicide Squad. That final shot revealed Peacemaker’s survival, which directly leads into Gunn’s Peacemaker TV series.
Which is your favorite DC movie universe credits scene? Are there any DCEU post-credits scenes that you are hoping will be revisited in an upcoming movie or show? Let us know in the comments below.