TV & Movies

The Shazam! Sequel Might Actually Star Sinbad

But will he play a genie?

by Mary Kate McGrath

There's a new layer to the Shazam!/Kazaam/Shazaam conspiracy. On Saturday, Zachary Levi hinted Sinbad might be in the Shazam! sequel, after the stand up comedian joined the cast for a panel at the DC FanDome virtual fan convention, as per Variety. Levi revealed during the "Shazoom" event that the sequel would be titled Shazam: Fury of the Gods, and welcomed many of his costars onto the call, including, Asher Angel, Meagan Good, and Adam Brody. Later, Levi dialed in David 'Sinbad' Adkins for the panel, hinting that the comedian could have a role in the upcoming film.

Sinbad joined the conference call as a surprise, and Levi said, "Sinbad, are you in ‘Shazam 2?" The comedian responded by teasing the actor, saying: "You tell me, John Krasinski, am I?" Then The Sinbad Show actor added: "Because everybody thought I was in ‘Shazam 1’ before it even existed — Google it." Sinbad was alluding to a popular internet phenomenon in which people form a false memory about seeing the comedian in a '90s comedy called Shazaam.

Many millennials fondly remember seeing Sinbad in a movie about a bumbling genie who goes on adventures with two small kids. There's only one problem — that movie doesn't exist. There are several theories about why the false memory is occurring — the first being that movie fans are misremembering Kazaam, a 1996 movie starring Shaquille O'Neal about a genie who is freed from a magical boombox. Another possibility is the Mandela Effect, a conspiracy theory that a group of people can share a false memory originating in a parallel universe where that memory isn't false. Since memory is unreliable, the more scientific psychological explanation is that the false narrative of Sinbad and Shazaam began online, and eventually formed a false memory in people's minds.

The DC FanDome event did not confirm or deny the Sinbad cameo in the upcoming sequel, which further adds to the Shazaam/Kazaam/Shazam! confusion. Beyond the comedian's potential role in the upcoming film, Levi, his costars, and director David F. Sandberg remained tight-lipped about the plot details for the future movie.

Shazam!, which followed a teen-turned-grown-adult superhero, was a box office success in 2019, as per Deadline. The hero derives his name from the Greek gods and historical figures Solomon, Hercules, Atlas, Zeus, Achilles and Mercury (not from a nonexistent '90s genie). It's not yet clear if the film will pick up from the credits sequence of the first film, which introduced Mister Mind, an alien worm who is Shazam's arch-nemesis in the comic books. Fans are likely curious to know more, including if Fury of Gods will truly have a Sinbad cameo, but perhaps the more important question is if he does, will he play a genie and finally make '90s kids' shared false memory a reality?