The shadow is a 2023 superhero movie based on the pulp character created by Walter b Gibson, who is arguably the first superhero. It was directed by Sam Rami, best known for doing the spider-man and evil dead movies. The film stars Zachary Quinto, Carey mulligan, Bruce Campbell, haliee steinfeld, and ken Watanabe as well as the voice talents of Maurice LaMarche. The music was provided by Joseph LoDuca. The film is part of the DC movie Universe and is chronologically the earliest point being set in the 30s.
Lois lane after the Events of Justice league has been looking into various costumed heroes of the past, with help from Clark Kent, and one particular hero that has apparently resurfaced and affected superheroes more than even wonder woman has is the shadow. Clark gets a hold of Bruce who explains that the shadow case is one he has been investigating for years but got no where near finding the truth. what he did find is a connection to Margaret G. Gibson, Lois lane's mentor and friend to her grandmother Margo lane. later Lois and Clark, appear at Margaret's house and after some convincing she confesses that she knew about the shadow. she then tells her the story.
in the 30s a younger Margaret is in a jam when she gathered information involving a crime lord and now gangsters are around her ready to kill her. when they are about to a mysterious cackling laugh is heard, and a mysterious voice tells them that justice is after them and that "the weed of crime bears bitter fruit." soon the voice reveals himself as a man in a black cloak and hat, and a red scarf, and he shoots them all dead. a cab pulls up and the figure revealing himself as the shadow. inside the cab she's informed that she's now an agent of the shadow and will use her talents to inform him on any crimes. when she asks about how he knew where she was, he replies: "The shadow knows."
meanwhile in a ritzy nightclub, man about town Lamont Cranston is on a night out with his friend and companion Margo lane. they meet up with Cranston's uncle the commissioner Wainwright Barth. after a talk he mentions a mysterious Urn at the museum that was almost stolen. and the Margaret is working on the story.
at the museum itself a group of Mongol warriors raid the museum and steal the Urn, revealing an ancient scroll inside but the shadow appears and massacres them all before another man grabs the scroll.
The next day the press is all over it. Margaret bumps into a strangely familiar looking man and cabbie, and later her old friend Harry Vincent, after a walk and a talk he reveals that after their falling out he almost committed suicide but was saved by a "shadow of a man." Margaret upon realizing what he means demands more answers to which he agrees to talk about later. meanwhile Cranston and Margo, find evidence to the perpetrator's as "shiwan" soon the both of them and the Cabbie, Moe, get into the cab. Then Cranston contacts a man named Burbank and describes the information given.
in the park Margaret and Harry are discussing their "boss" when suddenly they are surrounded by Mongol warriors and their leader who reveals himself as shiwan khan "the last true descendent of Genghis khan" he taunts them for working for the shadow and gives hints to his backstory and forcefully removes the scroll from Harry's coat. Margaret seizing the opportunity grabs Harry's hidden gun and shoots some of the warriors allowing Margaret and harry to escape.
after a brief trek they arrive at the shadow's lair. their Margaret's shocked to learn that the shadow is not only the man she meet in the museum, but is also Lamont Cranston.
He explains his backstory as a world war 1 aviator named Kent Allard who flew missions over Europe and crashed in Russia but was saved by the czar himself. and after protecting his daughter Anastasia from a bunch of murderers, Kent received a mystical ring from the czar. flew to the jungles of central america where he learned about an ancient idol whose eye was made into the ring he has. traveling to asia he ran into a monk known as the tulku who explains the ring can give him the ability to cloud men's minds effectively making him invisible and hypnotizing others when they stare at the ring. so after years of training and traveling all over he fakes his death and travels the world as the Shadow. after a while he ran into Lamont Cranston forming an opium empire and after a fight convinces him to give over his identity as Lamont Cranston and to destroy the opium empire. soon the shadow returns to new York and sets up his base in new York. Eventually saving the lives of Margo Lane, Moe, and harry Vincent.
after this Margaret finds out about the scroll that it could summon a great evil, soon a plan is formed to get the scroll back. the following night they travel to Chinatown where the warriors appear and begin fighting the shadow massacring them all. after a chase it comes down to a wrestle with shiwan khan who recites the scroll and summons a strange evil force. as the shadow begins to shoot it Shiwan khan escapes but soon Margaret and Harry find out that the scroll must be destroyed so the shadow shoots it and the force disappears.
the following day the carnage is watched over by the press, Margaret slips into an alley and ask Lamont about the ensuing results of their activates and whether it'll be of any use. Kent replies "The shadow knows"
in the present Margaret finished the story when Bruce reveals himself listening the entire time he reveals that the shadow was his partial inspiration for being batman and mentions that the case is closed now, at this Margret smiles and mentions that the shadow disappeared so it's not closed.
meanwhile a couple are returning to their apartment when a gang comes out shoots the man's leg before anything else can happen a mysterious cackling laugh is heard, reveals himself as the shadow as he fires the credits roll his laugh echoing.
Zachary Quinto as Kent Allard/ Lamont Cranston/the shadow
Maurice LaMarche as the voice of the shadow
Carey mulligan as Margo lane
Bruce Campbell as Moe “Shrevvy” Shrevenitz
Wentworth miller as harry Vincent
Troy Baker as the voice of Burbank/ The man
Haliee Steinfeld as Margret B. Gibson
Maggie Smith as Elderly Margret B. Gibson
Micheal Chiklis as commissioner wainwright Barth
ken Watanabe as Shiwan khan
George Takei as Dr. Roy tam
Karl Urban as Bruce Wayne/batman
Timothy Dalton as Alfred pennyworth
Anna Kendrick as Lois lane
Richard Madden as Clark Kent/ superman
grey delisle as the woman
Sam Rami had been trying to make the movie since he finished Evil dead 2. the idea was to have Bruce Campbell as the shadow but things fell through when universal thought they were too dark, so he made his own superhero film, Darkman. eventually when Dc got the rights to make a shadow movie for their Dc cinematic universe, Geoff Johns thought of no one better than rami, who eagerly took the project.
Upon release the shadow was regarded as the best movie in the DC Movie Universe. the film gained around 426 million worldwide recouping it's 75 million dollar budget. comic fans like Kevin smith called it "an unique look at what came before the modern superhero" the popularity allowed DC to partially own the rights and put him in their DC/pulp universe with dynamite.
The shadow while not having sequels of his own did show up in other DC Universe movies. Showing up in The City of Batman, eventually crossing over in Batman/The shadow and DC trinity/The shadow.
Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men?
Who is the Shadow?
she can keep on her toes.
loyal as can be.
the heart of the story
the legacy of evil stretches a long way
the weed of crime bears bitter fruit, Crime does not pay!
The shadow Knows!