Director David F. Sandberg is familiar with the horror elements that seem to be present in the new Shazam! stroll. With dark magic and mythical monsters wreaking havoc in the city of Philadelphia, it’s easy to see traces of this sinister genre baked right into a superhero movie. As it happens, Sandburg is no stranger to horror. His IMDb Profile reminds us that he directed Teresa Palmer’s 2016 supernatural thriller “Lights Out” and several horror shorts, including “Closet Space” and “Attic Panic.”
However, Sandberg may be best known for directing the horror origin story of another shared universe, Annabelle: Creation (that is, before Shazam!). The film follows the creepy doll’s origins before meeting Ed and Lorraine Warren (Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga). As Sandberg’s biggest hit and biggest project at the time, it’s no surprise that the doll holds a special place in his heart – so much so that it appears in the trailer for Shazam! Fury of the gods.”
The majority of the trailer’s two and a half minutes is about a conversation between Shazam (Zachary Levi), whom we assume is our therapist, but later revealed to be his pediatrician (P.J. Byrne). When the doctor reminds him of this fact, he points to a playground with dolls of Wonder Woman, Batman, and the creepy Annabelle sitting at a table ready for tea.