Now that its supporting cast is beginning to gel, DC’s Shazam! is finally ironing out the role that matters most: who’ll play the kid who gets to transform into Captain Marvel by uttering the magic word.
As one-half of the persona behind the central character in Shazam! lore, Batson’s an everyday teenager, juggling the obligatory basketful of everyday teenage problems, when he discovers the ability to tap a hidden ancient power that can transform him into a super-powered grown-up. That grown-up — Batson’s evil-thwarting alter ego — will be played by Thor: The Dark World’s Zachary Levi, whom DC snagged last month for the role of Captain Marvel.
Shooting on Shazam! — the next film in line to get the DCEU treatment — is set to begin early next year. The announcement of Angel as a lead in the film follows news last week that DC was in negotiations with Kingsman: The Golden Circle’s Mark Strong to play Billy Batson’s nemesis, the villainous Doctor Sivana.
Also last week, news broke that Annabelle: Creation co-star Grace Fulton was in talks to play a supporting role in Shazam!, possibly as Batson’s friend or sister. If that casting move pans out, it would reunite Fulton with Annabelle: Creation director David F. Sandberg, whom DC's tapped to direct the Shazam! reboot.
In Shazam! lore, barking the magic word enables Billy Batson to muster the united forces of the ancient figures represented by the storied "Shazam" acronym: Solomon, Hercules, Atlas, Zeus, Achilles, and Mercury.
Here’s hoping Asher Angel will give us a memorable Billy Batson and put "Shazam!" back on the lips of a new generation of fans. All we ask is that he do it in a voice that reminds no one of Gomer Pyle.