Okay, so first a little family history. During the 1940's, my grandfather had a job working for Fawcett Comics answering fan-mail. Specifically, whenever a kid wrote a letter to Captain Marvel, he was the guy who wrote back, in character, so he was basically the public face of the character outside of the comics. This was of course before the character and later the entire company was bought by DC Comics, and before the character was officially renamed "Shazam" to avoid legal confusion with the Marvel characters of the same name.

Alright, so in the movie that came out last year, there's a section where Billy is trying to find his mother who he lost as a small child, and he's got a book filled with addresses of women who have the same name as her. We actually see him visit one of these women, who is the last address on his list. (It's definitely not his actual mother; they made her a black woman to make that super-obvious.) But the address, prominently displayed more than once in the film in his notebook, is on "Hoffman St." in Philadelphia. Hoffman is my last name, and also my grandfather's, so it made me wonder if by any chance this was a nod to his contribution to the character back in its early existence.

Now I have looked up the location on Google Maps Street View, and it turns out there is actually a Hoffman St. in Philadelphia, but it looks nothing like what was depicted in the movie. The real street is only 6 blocks long (with a few interruptions), one-lane and one-way, and the buildings are right up against the sidewalk, nobody has any front lawns to speak of. In the film, the street looks much more suburban, 2-way streets and lawns. I can understand why they wouldn't choose to film there, it might be too cramped to get the camera angles they wanted, and it looks like a not-great part of town. But it's interesting that they chose that name for the street, and prominently featured the address in the notebook more than once (and no other addresses).

My grandfather is unfortunately not around to ask anymore (he died a few years before the movie came out, but possibly recently enough that someone working on the film might've heard about it). I've asked my father about it and he says it might be possible, but he has no way to be sure. I'm not sure if the address was also featured in the comics? If it was, that would be a more likely call-back, since it might date it back to when he was working there. Anyone know how I could go about figuring this out?

  • 10
    they have done references like that in other comic book movies, so it is possible, you could try asking some of the directors / writers on twitter to get confirmation
    – mgh42
    Jan 6, 2020 at 4:30
  • 5
    @mgh42 Unfortunately, I'm one of those few people left in the world who doesn't have a Twitter account, and given what I've seen of it, I'm not sure I'm interested in creating one. I kind of have my doubts that people like that are likely to respond to some random stranger like me anyhow (especially since my account if I created one now would have exactly zero activity, which could be seen as suspicious...) Jan 8, 2020 at 4:40
  • 10
    Then you don't want to know very bad. You add people to follow. It's not like you join Twitter and someone starts insulting you out of the gate. Tell them you created an account for this reason. Jan 11, 2020 at 3:36
  • 2
    The director has a YT channel where he is very open about how he works -- youtube.com/user/ponysmasher -- and is active on Reddit -- reddit.com/user/dauid -- and on Twitter -- twitter.com/ponysmasher . He is very approachable and if he cannot answer, I wouldn't be surprised he'd forward your question to someone who can.
    – BCdotWEB
    Mar 1, 2021 at 13:15
  • 1
    @MeatTrademark It's perfectly OK for people not to want to create a Twitter account. (Frankly, the world would be a better place if more people were of this mindset.) And there are plenty of ways to communicate in the world other than Twitter. It isn't necessary to disparage someone's motives for not joining Twitter.
    – Kyralessa
    Mar 2, 2021 at 7:50


You must log in to answer this question.

Browse other questions tagged .