Shazam! Fury of the Gods‘ trailer at the San Diego Comic-Con 2022 promises a showdown between superheroes and disgruntled gods, but there’s an easter egg for horror movie aficionados as well. 

When Zachary Levi’s Shazam is opening up about his imposter syndrome, it turns out that he’s speaking to a paediatrician, not a therapist, though the scene with the superhero laid out on the couch initially indicates otherwise. During the anticlimatic reveal, viewers catch a glimpse of the doctor’s office and it’s hard to miss the Annabelle doll seated at a table. 

Several Twitter users caught the nod to the horror franchise that deals with the doll possessed by a demon. Annabelle is a real-life doll which used to be in Ed and Lorraine Warren’s museum of the occult and first made an appearance in ‘The Conjuring’, thereon spanning its own film franchise. 

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Director David F Sandberg, who’s helming the upcoming ‘Shazam’ movie also worked on ‘Annabelle: Creation’ and decided to include the easter egg in the 2019 ‘Shazam!’ movie as well. 

The scene comes early in the movie when Billy Batson, who later becomes Shazam, visits a pawn shop. It is a blink-and-you-miss instance, but the director drew attention to it with a tweet, asking “Did you catch Annabelle in the pawn shop?” 

When James Wan, who started the ‘Conjuring‘ franchise, directed ‘Aquaman‘, he included the Annabelle doll too – visible on the ocean floor next to a shipwreck. 

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As for how the demonic doll keeps popping up in these superhero movies, without violating any copyright laws – DC Films is a subsidiary of Warner Bros which also makes the ‘Conjuring’ movies, giving the Annabelle doll freedom to appear as an easter egg in DCEU projects. 

‘Shazam! Fury of the Gods’ will release on December 21, 2022.