With the recently announced casting of of Thor: Ragnarok‘s Zachary Levi in the leading role of DC’s Shazam!, hype for the movie has begun to pick up again following a somewhat quiet period. Understandably, the focus for the studio has been on its soon to be released Avengers-style team-up film Justice League and next year’s Jason Momoa starred Aquaman, but as time marches on the need to ramp up production on more projects including Shazam! and a Green Lantern Corps movie is becoming more pressing as Warner Bros. finds ways provide a solid slate of titles for the franchise to rest on.
In July this year reports confirmed that Lights Out director David F. Samberg had come aboard to helm Shazam! and the aforementioned news that Levi would be starring has gotten fans’ hopes for the film up mighty high. Of course, this is also in part due to anticipation for crowd-pleaser Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson’s Black Adam, although the character is said not to be appearing in that particular movie. Anyhow, Shazam! is set to be the DCEU‘s most fun and light-hearted title, even more so than apparently Justice League will be, and that seems to fit well the classic versions of the character himself.
Shazam, or Captain Marvel (not to be confused with the Marvel Comics character of the same name for which there is also a feature film being made starring Brie Larson), was created back in the 1940s as Whiz Comics’ response to the Superman character. Captain Marvel possessed many of the same powers and abilities as the Last Son of Krypton, but took things a little further in that he had access to magical power. Billy Batson, an ordinary young boy, was chosen by a very powerful wizard named Shazam to have bestowed upon him the powers of the Gods, for which the name Shazam is an acronym (S-Solomon, H-Hercules, A-Atlas, Z-Zeus, A-Achilles and M-Mecury). Whenever Batson would say the word Shazam he would be transformed into a costumed hero with all of these abilities. However, the Captain’s kryptonite, so to speak, was that any time the name was uttered while in superpower mode he would revert back to being a defenceless child. Needless to say, Levi has already been training in order to reach the kind of physical presence that on-screen superheroes all seem to have these days.
Levi’s youthful charisma also seems to make him a perfect fit for the part, but the lingering question has been who will take on the role as the film’s villain to rain on the Captain’s jovial parade. Well it now looks as though Shazam! is close to landing said baddy, with TheWrap reporting that Kingsman: The Golden Circle‘s Mark Strong is being eyed by the studio for the part. Apparently, Strong would be stepping into the shoes of Doctor Sivana, nut no further details have been provided at this point.
Sivana, who made his first appearance a mere two months before the character of Lex Luthor in 1940, is a science genius who managed to deduce that Captain Marvel had a 10-year-old alter-ego. While Black Adam presents a physical match for Batson, Sivana’s intellect proves to be just as much of a threat for the Captain to have to deal with – much like the classic Luthor and Superman relationship. As to what Strong’s version of the character will be like we’ll have to wait and see.
Shazam! flies into theatres April 5th, 2019.