At DC’s FanDome, most films shared major reveals like trailers, teasers, villains reveals, and more. But for some movies, the pandemic has put them even further behind schedule (or tossed the schedule out altogether), making it harder to plan the steady drip, drip, drip of promotional reveals. For the lead of 2019’s joyously goofy runaway hit Shazam!, that meant leaning into his charm and a few four-letter words at the top of his panel.
After some serious shenanigans about how little he was allowed to say, director David F. Sandberg and the rest of the Shazam! cast Asher Angel, Jack Dylan Grazer, Faithe Herman, Meagan Good, and Adam Brody joined Zachary Levi. Brody’s late inclusion (he says he clicked on the wrong link and showed up to a Kazaam 2 event) was a subtle indicator that the Shazam family of heroes will most likely continue into the second film.
Then they finally got down to business and gave the fans the goods. Well, sort of. Faithe Herman shared her homemade take on the movie poster that effectively spilled the beans on a few key details about the sequel, including the title, Shazam: Fury of the Gods.
What exactly does that mean? Over on Twitter, director Sandberg was pulling much the same routine as Levi did during the event: “We have a title! #Shazam! Fury of the Gods
What gods? Why are they upset? Yes!”
The cast was then joined by none other than ’90s icon Sinbad.
It turns out Sinbad will have a cameo in the Shazam sequel, satisfying internet conspiracy theorists everywhere. Sinbad even shouted out the Mandela Effect himself (he claims he’s the #3 entry but I think he could make a case for #2), explaining how confusing it is that there are people out there who think he’s starred in a movie that doesn’t even exist. While confusing Levi, who shouted out the Kazaam sequel (it’s not actually happening but Shaq has said he would do it, and would want Tiffany Haddish, Halle Berry, and Rihanna as costars), Sinbad reminded us all that he’ll be in that sequel, too.
So for the uninitiated, the Mandela Effect is the concept of a thing that never happened, but so many people believing it did, that surely some larger conspiracy theory must be afoot. It’s named for what some consider the most famous example, where many people worldwide believed they had watched Nelson Mandela’s funeral on TV…years before he had died. While so would look for a plausible explanation, fans of the Mandela Effect see something more sinister afoot.
And then there’s Shazam!
Ask any group of ’90s kids, and a decent number of them will swear they watched the movie Shazam, which they claim stars Sinbad as a genie. They will tell you the whole plot, about him granting a kid wishes and all the hijinx that ensued.
There is no such film.
In reality and Shaquille O’Neal played a genie who lives in a boombox and Weevil from Veronica Mars played the kid who summoned him in a movie called Kazaam. The names are similar, and it doesn’t help that someone photoshopped a VHS cover and Sinbad and College Humor made a version of Shazam for April Fools a few years ago, so if you do a lazy Google search, you can easily find “proof.”
In the end, it’s one of the internet’s favorite relatively non-threatening conspiracy theories. And now, it’s weirdly going to be more true and/or more confusing than ever, with Sinbad starring in Shazam: Fury of the Gods and possibly joking his way toward trying to make Kazaam 2 a thing. You’re welcome, fellow 90s kids of the internet.