Shazam's super suit may have cost $1 million to make

Ever since the first trailer for SHAZAM! dropped last year fans off all stripes have been loving the approach and overall look of the character, including Zachary Levi going all Schwarzenegger on us. Part of that awesome look is the super suit that morphs onto young Billy Batson when he says the magic word (see title), which glows with lightning when his friend brings his fingers to it. Trying to make that magic look real doesn’t come cheap, and in a new interview costume designer Leah Butler revealed that each suit cost about $1 million to make – and they made 10 of them.

The little nugget of production info comes from an interview Butler gave to TotalFilm (via SyFy), where she talked about the making of the suit, which included all sorts of light fixtures powered by an actual battery on the back. That’s how the gauntlets and chest piece are able to actually light up, and all on a stylish spandex suit.

“The exterior suit is a spandex suit that goes over a musculature suit, and each muscle has been sculpted on the body of Zach so it accents and highlights his shape and size.There is actually a battery in the back - we luckily had a cape to cover it all up or I don’t know where we would have put all that stuff - and it is remotely lit through a switchboard operator. There is wiring throughout the costume. It’s a 26-volt AA rechargeable battery. It lasts about two hours at full charge.”

Adding to the cost were also the basic logistics, like taking into account Levi’s diet and changing muscle growth. For that they also had a sculptor make a mold of Levi’s body so they could have a copy around to work with. Having all these people on the payroll added to the cost of every suit, meaning, “Each suit costs, oh boy, upwards of a million? We have ten suits,” she said.

You’re not wrong in thinking that’s a ton of dough for a big piece of spandex with Christmas lights on it, but clearly, there are lots of factors in play other than just making it look stylish, realistic and cool. When asked about the expenditure by folks on the internet (as if it's their money on the line?), director David F. Sandberg offered up words on why making the costume cost so much, saying he doesn’t really know how much the suit actually cost.

Well, no matter how much it cost the thing looks rad, and Levi looks rad in it. SHAZAM! is one of my most anticipated movies of this first half of the year, and every time I see the trailer I'm more and more sold on the notion this thing is going to be huge. That in mind, spending that much money on some suits really doesn't seem like that big of a risk.

SHAZAM is in theaters April 5.




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