DC Prevented Shazam 2 from Referencing 1 Superhero

By Aeron Mer Eclarinal Updated:
Zachary Levi as Shazam, DC logo, Justice League

Shazam! Fury of the Gods is filled with exciting heroes and villains, but a new update from its director indicated that DC prevented the sequel from referencing one specific superheroic character.

As Shazam 2's release gets near, new details about the sequel have slowly come to light. Fury of the Gods director David F. Sandberg described the sequel as a "mini-Avengers movie," since there are so many characters. 

True enough, a major DC cameo was spoiled by promo footage, proving Sandberg's comments about the sequel being a mini-crossover movie. 

Despite that, it looks like not every character made the cut. 

Why Shazam 2 Didn't Reference 1 DC Character

In an interview with Henry Calvert, the Tiktoker asked Shazam! Fury of the Gods director David F. Sandberg to play a game guessing whether or not a DC character he will mention is real. 

Calvertr mentioned Detective Chimp, prompting the director to confirm that the chimpanzee is from DC while revealing that they weren't allowed to reference him in the upcoming sequel: 

“Well, he’s real. I wanted to… He’s DC. Yeah, I wanted to put a reference to him in the movie, but we weren’t allowed to."

In DC Comics, Detective Chimp, aka Bobo T. Chimpanzee, is a trained chimpanzee that helped solve the murder of a petting zoo owner Fred Thorpe since he's the only witness. After successfully solving the crime, Chimp later becomes a superhero in his own right as an Oskaloosa County deputy. 

Detective Chimp

This isn't the first time that Sandberg mentioned Detective Chimp since he revealed in 2020 that he wanted to make a movie about the character:

"Detective Chimp. Because there aren't enough alcoholic chimp detectives on the big screen."

When asked if he would be interested in directing the movie, Sandberg admitted that it would be challenging since the budget would be "more expensive" because the main character is purely CGI: 

"Sure. I don't see it happening though because having the main character be CGI would be more expensive than the budget that property would be able to get."

It remains to be seen if Detective Chimp will soon make his way into live-action, but DC Studios head James Gunn did express interest in potentially bringing gorillas into the new DCU: 

"As co-Chairman and CEO of DC Studios, I vow to the public at large and you the fans, that I will break off the shackles of our limited imaginations, and will abide by no gorilla limits whatsoever!"

When a fan told Gunn to bring Detective Chimp into the DCU, the DC Studios co-CEO reminded him that the character is an "ape" and not a gorilla:

"DETECTIVE CHIMP IS AN APE he’s just not a gorilla."

In fact, in a past Facebook Q&A, Gunn, via GeekTyrant, revealed that he wanted to make a Hit Monkey movie for Marvel:

"I wanted to do Hit Monkey. Like REALLY wanted to do it. I was also interested in doing a Hulk/Red Hulk film."

Will DC Studios Introduce Detective Chimp?

While it's unfortunate that Shazam 2 wasn't able to reference Detective Chimp, DC Studios co-CEO James Gunn's enthusiasm for bringing gorillas (and potentially apes) into the DCU could allow the character to appear in some form. 

It's also possible that DC prevented Shazam! Fury of the Gods director David F. Sandberg since Gunn could have plans for the character in the DCU. 

Bringing Detective Chimp into the new super-powered universe presents many exciting possibilities, especially now that the upcoming reboot will also include animation in its own canon. 

DC Studios may introduce Detective Chimp through animation to test fan reception before bringing him alongside the Justice League and other major heroes in a future project. 

Doing this could also address Sandberg's concern about a project being expensive since an animated project will have a lesser budget.

Shazam! Fury of the Gods is now playing in theaters.

- In This Article: Shazam! Fury of the Gods
Release Date
March 17, 2023
Asher Angel
- About The Author: Aeron Mer Eclarinal
Aeron is a news/features writer and Content Lead for The Direct who has been working for the site since March 2020. From writing about the inter-connectivity of the Marvel Cinematic Universe to having an extended knowledge about DC TV's Arrowverse, Aeron's expertise has since expanded into the realm of reality TV, K-drama, animated, and live-action shows from Netflix,  Disney+, Prime Video, MGM+, Peacock, Paramount+, and Max. When he isn't writing and watching all things MCU, Aeron is heavily invested with the NBA (go Celtics!) and occasionally watches thrilling matches in the WWE.