By James Hibberd
July 20, 2018 at 11:00 AM EDT
  • Movie

You’ve heard of Shazam!, right? Of course you have. But perhaps you’re thinking of a different Shazam? Even star Zachary Levi, in our video above from EW’s Comic-Con suite, joked about how sometimes people think of, well, something else. “If I had a nickel for every time … ” Levi said when asked about the confusion with the film 1986 movie Kazaam, but then promptly had some confusion about another title, the mythical Sinbad film “Shazaam.”

“Isn’t there a Shazaam movie with the comic Sinbad?” Levi asked. “But that really did happen? This is what we’re talking about! Insanity!” 

To clear up the confusion, here are all the things that DC’s upcoming Shazam! movie — about an orphan named Billy Batson who utters a magic word to turn into a grown-up superhero — tends to get confused with (and be sure to check out the Shazam! trailer): 

Shazam: A popular music app that identifies songs. There’s no exclamation point, however, so that’s one way to tell it apart. Also, one thing is a DC superhero movie starring Zachary Levi and the other thing tells you what song your Lyft driver is playing. 

Beat Shazam: A Fox game show that’s based on the music app hosted by Jamie Foxx that’s now in its rather unlikely second season. 

Kazaam: A 1996 fantasy movie starring Shaquille O’Neal as a 5,000-year-old genie who appears from a magic boombox to grant a boy three wishes. This film, like Shazam!, is also about a boy aided by a grown-up figure with superpowers, which doesn’t exactly help matters.

Foxy Shazam: A glam rock band from Ohio that were together from 2003-2014.   

“Sha-zam!” Gomer Pyle’s catchphrase in The Andy Griffin Show and Gomer Pyle. You have to be pretty old to make this mistake. 

Captain Marvel: Why, this name sounds nothing like Shazam! But in the comics, Billy Batson become a superhero named “Captain Marvel.” In fact, the whole comic book was originally called “Captain Marvel” before changing its name to Shazam. But Captain Marvel is also the name of a Marvel superhero who will be played by Brie Larson in an upcoming movie. Both DC’s Shazam! and Marvel’s Captain Marvel are scheduled to be released within a month of each other in 2019, presumably to ensure maximum confusion.

Shazaam: Remember when Sinbad also played a genie that other 1990s movie? Kazaam and Shazaam were to genie movies what Armageddon and Deep Impact were to killer asteroid movies, remember? Yeah, that didn’t actually happen. But strangely, a lot of people seem to think it did. It’s apparently a weird combination of online rumor, Sinbad hosting an afternoon of Sinbad the Sailor movies dressed in flowing robes in 1994 and fans mixing it up with Kazaam

For more, pick up EW’s Comic-Con special issue featuring our cover story on Shazam! You can get it at the fan convention — or buy it online here. The film opens April 5, 2019.  

  • Movie
release date
  • 04/05/19
  • David F. Sandberg
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