Young actor Jack Dylan Grazer, who turned in a knockout performance as Eddie Kaspbrak in the recent film version of Stephen King's It, has joined the cast of the upcoming DC Entertainment movie Shazam!
According to Deadline, Grazer will play a character named Freddy, the best friend of teenager Billy Batson (Asher Angel) and the only person who knows that Batson can transform into the adult superhero Shazam (Zachary Levi) simply by saying his name.
In the DC comic books, a character named Freddy Freeman was introduced in Whiz Comics #25 (December 1941) as a crippled newsboy who Shazam (called Captain Marvel in the comics) rescues from the evil Captain Nazi. Shazam/Captain Marvel then gives Freddy powers of his own, with Freddy transforming into Captain Marvel Jr. every time he says "Captain Marvel."
Unlike Billy Batson, Freddy stays a boy when he transforms instead of becoming an adult. Captain Marvel Jr. went on to become part of the "Marvel/Shazam Family," which also featured Mary Marvel and other characters, and he continues to appear in Shazam comics to this day.
Since Grazer's character is named Freddy, it's probably safe to assume that he will be playing a version of the comic book creation (if he does end up becoming a superhero as well, he likely won't use the name "Captain Marvel Jr." since Shazam is dropping the "Captain Marvel" moniker to avoid confusion with the upcoming Marvel Studios movie).
David F. Sandberg (Lights Out) is set to direct the film, which is slated to begin production early next year for a 2019 release. Meanwhile, you'll be able to enjoy Grazer's performance as Eddie all over again when It -- the highest-grossing horror film of all time -- hits digital outlets later this month and arrives on Blu-ray/DVD on Jan. 9.