Warner Brothers UK were kind enough extend me an invite to the London SHAZAM! events! These events included early access to the fun fair in Bernie Spains Gardens, a meet and greet with the cast and director, AND an special screening of the film.
Ever since Shazam was announced, I’ve been very excited to see the film. Last year, I was there when they debuted the first official trailer for the film at San Diego Comic Con and the energy in the room was incredible. When I got the email from Warner Brothers UK, I couldn’t believe my eyes, and had to re-read it a couple of times for it to sink in. They asked if I wanted to attend and within seconds I had replied with a big fat YES! The moment I received the tickets in the post, was the moment it really sunk in. I got two tickets, so I thought it was time I treated Ashley who helps me write the comic book reviews for the site. He had a great time – I hope!
The event took place on Wednesday 20th March. I still had to work that day, so I got the day over and done with, then I headed for my train to London. First up was the fun fair! We were allowed in from 5pm, we put our wristbands on and marched straight in. It was incredible! Such a great, unique and fun idea to promote a film. There was plenty to do and even some prizes up for grabs. We each got two games, and a ride on the Helter Skelter! I hadn’t been on one since I was a kid, so that was a great touch.
Each of the games represented a letter in “SHAZAM!”, as you know each letter represents something! The Wisdom of Solomon. The Strength of Hercules. The Stamina of Atlas. The Power of Zeus. The Courage of Achilles, and The Speed of Mercury. Each game had been thought out extremely well, and were so much fun for all ages! For every game you played, you got a stamp, which you could trade in for merchandise and prizes. I didn’t have time to go on all of them, but I did get to have a go on a few… I tested my Stamina and Strength whilst I was there. Of course, I completed both (smug face!).
The first game I tried was the Stamina of Atlas one. The task was to hold two 15kg weights above knee height for either 30 seconds or 1 minute. I managed 30 seconds, but it was great fun.
Then I had a go on the Strength of Hercules. It was the hammer strength test. You had to hit the target as hard as you could to try and get it to ring the bell at the top! You had a choice of a large mallet or a small one, this was to increase the difficulty depending on how strong you were. I picked the big one, and I managed to ring the bell! Here’s a little pic courtesy of Warner Brothers UK.
Once I’d had my fun, I headed over to the stall to claim my prizes. I got an awesome Shazam tee, which I’ll show off shortly… And also this incredible Funko Pop! I’m a sucker for a Pop, so this was definitely my first choice!
Once that was done, we took as many photos as we could to try and savour the memories! I was lucky enough to experience this with some of my favourite people, along with other bloggers. I met the We Speak Geek team there, so we took a few group shots, this was the best one..
Then we were escorted over to the cinema for the meet and greet and also for a special screening of the film. We were all nervous and didn’t really know what to expect, how to act, what to do, the list goes on! When we got there, there were drinks and food being brought out which was lovely. There was a Shazam! backdrop for photographs and also a lifesize statue of the man himself, it took us a while to notice, but every now and then his chest and finger lit up!
Of course we took advantage of the photo opportunities!
We did a bit of mingling after that, and got to see some fellow blogger friends, along with some new ones. It was good to see Paul from DC World again, We Have A Hulk, the rest of the We Speak Geek team, Tabitha Lyons and a few others.
Not only that, but it was so nice to be able to treat Ashley, who has helped me out massively with my blog. This was my thank you to him.
Then, ever so casually… the talent started to waltz into the room… first up was Peter Safran. Peter is a producer, who worked on Shazam! and also Aquaman. We had met briefly at the Aquaman premiere, so I already knew a little bit about him. We talked about Shazam! and the vision behind it, and he was very excited to see what people thought of the film. All he did was express the passion that director David Sandberg and Zachary Levi had for the film, and now that I’ve seen it, I can see why. He was a lovely guy and very talkative, he had to get dragged away for the conversation to end!
Then David Sandberg walked in, and again he was lovely. He was excited to see what we thought of the film and again very complimentary towards Zachary Levi. I was familiar with some of Sandberg’s previous work, particularly Lights Out which is of the horror genre. I asked if there would be many elements of that genre within the film, to which he answered “definitely”. I also asked about the trailer in which a lot of scenes seem parallel to that of Man Of Steel (I HAD TO). He expressed that he was a big fan of that film and wanted to incorporate that love within this film. He also touched on the fact that there are a lot of references and Easter Eggs within it too, and he wanted to do that because he felt it was important to pay his respects to those films/filmmakers, but also because he was a fan.
Then Mark Strong came through. I don’t know why but I was so nervous to meet him! Most likely because of some of the characters he has portrayed in the past! But don’t be fooled by that he was LOVELY. He introduced himself, and was really talkative actually! He talked about what it’s like to play a comic book villain for the second time. Previously he portrayed Sinestro in Green Lantern, and he said that they wanted to change the way the character looked in the film compared to the comics. Luckily he stated that he would only take the role if it was comic book accurate, and that’s exactly what Dr. Sivana is.
And then, the main man himself – Zachary Levi walked in. Sipping on Tequila like the bad-ass guy he is! I wasn’t as nervous to meet him, because I had met him previously at London Film and Comic Con last year. I already knew he was lovely and easy to talk to.
We had a little chat about the film, what it’s like for him doing a film of this scale and genre, and he genuinely is loving every second of it! I am so glad for him. He is a little like Jason Momoa, in the sense that he doesn’t need to get into character to play Shazam! his personality is already like that. He IS that person anyway! Just like Momoa’s personality IS Aquaman. I love that. I made a bit of a fool of myself though… I was trying to explain how well made the film is, because if you try and explain the concept/story to someone who isn’t familiar with Shazam, it sounds a little weird. – A boy gets named Earth’s Champion and whenever he shouts SHAZAM he turns into Superhero – you know what I mean? Zach told me I needed to work on my pitch haha!
Having the opportunity to meet these incredible people who I have been a fan of for years, is so so surreal, but it is awesome! It’s an experience like no other, they know you are there because you are a fan, but also because you have been invited by Warner Brothers UK. So it’s a little different to your standard comic-con meet and greet, you get time with them and get to talk to people you might have never had the chance to talk to before. I honestly, can’t thank Warner Brothers enough for that experience, but it certainly didn’t stop there!
We then headed into the screening where the cast introduced the film to the room. As they were half way through their introductions, a special guest ran on stage – Djimon Hounsou, who plays the Wizard Shazam! I love moments like that, and luckily I got it all on camera so that I can share it with you guys!
After that, the film started, and my incredible day was over. It is certainly a day that I will not forget. The lead up to the screening was awesome, and it just made it that little bit more special. The film was AWESOME, you can read my full review here.
I’ve said this so many times, but a HUGE thank you to Warner Brothers UK for this incredible experience. I feel so lucky even to be invited! A surreal day, that I will never forget.
Here’s to the next one!