DC’s Shazam! to star Zachary Levi

DC’s Shazam! to star Zachary Levi

1 comment 📅28 October 2017, 19:13

Louisiana-born Zachary Levi is set to star in the DC comic book adaptation of Shazam!

While still relatively unknown in comic book sub-culture, this isn’t his first foray into it; he was Fandral in Thor: The Dark World (2013). Other roles you may, or may not, have seen him in include…er, Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel (2009) and Tangled (2010) and a whole bunch of TV including Heroes Reborn and Star Wars: Detours.

Previously known as Captain Marvel, Shazam first appeared in Whiz Comics #2 (February 1940), published by Fawcett Comics. He is the alter ego of a boy named Billy Batson, who can transform into an adult superhero by uttering the magic word “Shazam!” The name is an acronym of the ancient world gods and historical figures Solomon, Hercules, Atlas, Zeus, Achilles and Mercury, from which Batson derives his heroic attributes when in adult form, superhuman strength, speed, flight, that sort of thing.

Fawcett ceased publishing Captain Marvel-related comics in 1953, partly because of a copyright infringement suit from DC Comics, alleging that Captain Marvel was a copy of Superman. In 1972, DC licensed the Marvel Family characters from Fawcett and returned them to publication. By 1991, DC had acquired all rights to the characters. DC has since integrated Captain Marvel and the Marvel Family into their DC Universe and has attempted to revive the property several times, with mixed success. Due to trademark conflicts over another character named “Captain Marvel” owned by Marvel Comics since 1967, DC chose to publish the character’s adventures in a comic book titled “Shazam!” for many years, leading many to assume that this was the character’s name. DC later officially renamed the character “Shazam” when relaunching its comic book properties in 2011.

New Line’s current golden boy David F. Sandberg will be in the director’s chair as the studio views him as homegrown talent after putting out his first feature Lights Out (2016) and Annabelle: Creation (2017), the latest installment of The Conjuring universe. The $15 million horror sequel has earned a big $303 million worldwide since opening in August.

IGN ranked Captain Marvel as the 50th greatest comic book hero of all time, stating that the character will always be an enduring reminder of a simpler time and UGO Networks ranked him as one of the top heroes of entertainment, saying, “At his best, Shazam has always been compared to Superman with a sense of crazy, goofy fun.”

Since news broke of this, Levi took to Instagram today, where he shared art imagining him as Shazam created by popular artist BossLogic and wrote a bit about his excitement for the role and all of the work it will entail.

Levi isn’t kidding about the gym part. He’s apparently already hard at work getting in shape for Shazam, partaking in a four-hour gym session. He’s also not kidding about the outpouring of love and support. The fanbase is genuinely excited about Levi playing Shazam.

Now that Levi has been cast as Shazam, DC Films needs to cast Billy Batson, Shazam’s young alter ego. Rumors suggest DC Comics is also looking to cast Freddy Freeman, also known as Shazam’s sidekick Shazam Jr, to the film and possibly the entire Shazam family, as seen in Geoff Johns’ New 52 Justice League series.

Henry Gayden and Darren Lemke are penning the screenplay and Annabelle: Creation and Aquaman producer Peter Safran is reuniting with Sandberg. Executive producer Toby Emmerich said this film will be set on the DCEU earth, but it will have a tone unto itself and be completely independent. The film will not tie into any of the other DCEU films, and there will be no appearances by other DCEU franchise characters.

Apparently this will be the next DC Cinematic Universe movie to film, ahead of Flashpoint, Joss Whedon’s Batgirl and the Suicide Squad sequel, which recently attached Accountant (2017) director Gavin O’Connor. The movie is being developed concurrently with a film focusing on Shazam villain Black Adam starring Dwayne Johnson.

New Line is eying a February 2018 start for principle photography in Toronto and a release date of April 5, 2019 has been given.

Other upcoming DC Extended Universe movies include Justice League on November 17, 2017, Aquaman on December 21, 2018, Wonder Woman 2 on December 13, 2019, Cyborg in 2020 and Green Lantern Corps in 2020.

Related stories
Stefan Kapicic (Colossus): I’m not a big fan of DC’s movies
The Raid’s Gareth Evans in talks to direct Deathstroke movie
The Stars Of Justice League Announce A Halloween Cosplay Challenge
New Justice League Trailer Goes For Sombre Tone (Then The Flash Appears…)
Supergirl S03E1 “Girl of Steel” REVIEW

1 Comment

  1. Bruce
    07 November 2017, 17:59 Bruce

    Well, no one expected this development and now since he’s officially going to be the Shazam, it would be interesting to see him all buffed up. John Cena would have been a better option but oh well.

    Reply to this comment

Leave a comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.