No superhero movie is complete without clues for comic book fans and eagle-eye viewers, and Shazam!‘s Easter eggs and theories are an example of how that trend isn’t slowing down anytime soon. Shazam!, which premiered on April 5, is DC Comics’ latest superhero film and box-office success, earning around $160 million worldwide in its first weekend. The film, starring Zachary Levi, Asher Angel and Jack Dylan Grazer, follows a 14-year-old boy who is given magic powers by a wizard, which turns him into a 30-something-year-old version of himself with super strength, super speed and the power to shoot lightning bolts from his fingertips. As much as it is about saving the world and superhero, the film is also about family and how family is sometimes what we create instead of what we’re born with.
Like the superhero movies before it, Shazam! is also filled with Easter eggs about previous DC Comics movies, comic book storylines and potential plot points to be explored in the future. If these Easter eggs went over your head in your first watch, you’re not alone. When there are super-villains wrecking havoc on Earth, it’s hard to pay attention to blurry poster in the background or the small clues scattered around the set. Fortunately, there are fans who did he legwork and spotted these 13 Easter eggs. Check them out ahead.
The Big Piano Scene
While running away from Dr. Sivana in a toy store, Billy/Shazam! reveals himself when he accidentally steps on a piano on the floor. Dr. Sivana then runs toward him while also playing the piano’s keys. The scene is a reference to 1988’s Big, starring Tom Hanks, which, like Shazam!, also tells the story of a preteen boy who becomes an adult overnight. Big is also referenced in the carnival scenes at the beginning and end of Shazam!, which nod to the carnival where Josh Baskin was at where he used the fortune teller machine to become an adult.
The Independence Day Boardroom Reference
After Dr. Sivana steals the Eye of Sin and becomes vessel for the seven sins, he pays a visit to his father’s office where he uses his newfound powers to mass-murder everyone, including his brother and father, in a boardroom. As the sins kill the last of the survivors, the camera pans to the outside of the boardroom where a receptionist can be heard hearing the screams of everyone inside before seeing the shadow of a body being slaughtered against the window. Many believe the scene to be a reference to 1996’s Independence Day, which features a similar scene of character approaching a window with a monster lurking behind it.
When Billy and his siblings run from Dr. Sivana in the Rock of Eternity, they come across a room filled with doors. Each door opens to a different and sometimes dangerous place. One door opened to a table of crocodile-headed men playing poker. The scene was only a couple seconds long, with the group shutting the door closed before the crocodiles could attack them. But for comic-book fans, the scene was a clear reference to the Crocodile-Men in the Shazam! comics, an alien species who proved to be some of Shazam!’s first villains.
There were several references to tigers in Shazam! It was the toy that Billy wanted his mom to win for him when he was a kid, it was the stuffed animal that appeared on the wall of the toy store where Shazam! and Dr. Sivana fought, it was emblem on Billy’s backpack and it was what Shazam! gave a scared young girl when Dr. Sivana wrecked havoc at a carnival. For comic-book fans, the recurring theme was a clear reference to Tawky Tawny, a friendly human-like tiger who became an ally to Shazam! The character didn’t make it into the movie, but it was there in spirit through the many tiger references.
The school that Billy and his siblings attend in the movie is called Fawcett Central, which is a reference to Fawcett Comics, the original publisher of Fawcett Comics. The superhero series, originally named “Captain Marvel”, was first published by Fawcett Comics 1940. In 1972, the character was told to DC Comics and renamed as Shazam! after trademark conflicts with Marvel Comics, which also had a character named Captain Marvel.
If you walked out of Shazam! before the credits rolled, you may have missed the end credits scene, which introduced the franchise’s next villain: Mister Mind. The cameo occurred in an end credits scene which saw Dr. Sivana in jail, trying to remember the code to open the door to the Rock of Eternity. While he’s writing, Mister Mind, a super-intelligent talking caterpillar, appears and invites Dr. Sivana to something even more evil.
Deadline reported in 2017 that Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson was set to star as Black Adam, one of Shazam’s arch-nemeses. The film was pushed for unknown reasons, but the character may still be coming to the DC cinematic universe. In Shazam!, the wizard tells Billy about an “ancient champion” who was originally given the power of Shazam but became corrupted, which is why the wizard was so gung-ho on finding a new champion who was “pure of heart.” That ancient hero turned out to be Black Adam who has a lot of the same powers as Shazam not not the same want to do good. The scene was small, but it suggested that Black Adam was in the universe and could appear in a future DC movie—if not in Shazam! 2.
Aquaman Easter Egg
The word is still out on whether the DC cinematic universe will revamp its film version of the Justice League, but according to an Easter egg found in the Shazam! trailer, at least two of DC’s heroes still exist in the same universe (three, if you count Superman’s surprise cameo at the very end of the movie.) Before Billy’s subway turns into a portal to the Rock of Eternity, there was a poster for an aquarium on the wall. On the poster is what looks like a little boy looking at a tall tank of fish. Of course, fans noticed that the poster looked a lot like a scene of a young Arthur Curry (Aquaman) looking at a similar aquarium tank. What does it mean? Well, Shazam’s director, David F. Sandberg, responded that fans will “WILL NEVER GET AN ANSWER.” But fans are confident that it means a possible meet-up between the two heroes.
One of Shazam!‘s first scenes is of Billy tricking two police officers to walk into a pawn shop, so he can use the database on his car to find his mom’s address. Fans will notice that in the background of the pawnshop is a doll that looks a lot like Annabelle, the demonic doll from 2014’s film of the same name. Why was she there? Well, some theorize it’s because Shazam!‘s director, David F. Sandberg, also directed 2017’s Annabelle: Creation, which told the story of how the creepy doll came to be. This isn’t the first time Annabelle has appeared in a DC film either. The creepy doll also made its way into 2018’s Aquaman, according to Gamespot.
The Watchmen Clue
After Billy’s hijinks with the police is over, he’s brought into a social worker’s office after running away from yet another foster home. On the social worker’s desk is a smiley-face button, which many believe to be a blink-and-miss-it clue for the Watchmen franchise, a DC comics series whose recurring symbol is a blood-stained smiley face. With news of a Watchmen TV show coming to HBO, fans assumed the Easter egg was a nod toward the franchise making its way to the DC on-screen universe.
The Mist Reference
Another film believed to be referenced in Shazam! is 2007’s The Mist, based on Stephen King’s 1980 book about a supernatural mist that takes over the town. Hidden in the mist are monsters who kill the town’s inhabitants. One of the doors Billy and his siblings open is to a mist-filled dimension. Out of the mist comes a tentacle that almost grabs Eugene. King fans will recognize the scene was a reference to The Mist, which features similar tentacle-like monsters. In the book, a similar tentacle kills a box boy at a grocery store’s loading dock.
Hoppy the Marvel Bunny
Hoppy the Marvel Bunny is a spinoff of the Shazam!/Captain Marvel franchise, featuring a bunny in the iconic red lightning bolt suit. The character didn’t appear in the movie, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t there in spirit. The character was referenced in Darla’s bedroom, which included a stuffed rabbit front and center on her bed. Many fans believe this was an Easter egg and call-out to Hoppy.
Billy’s Dad’s Name
In the film, Billy’s dad is named C.C. Batson. There isn’t much mention of him other than that. But fans believe that the name is a call-out C.C. Beck, one of the creators and longtime writers for Captain Marvel/Shazam!.