The Hollywood Reporter is exclusively reporting that Zachary Levi has been cast in the lead role for DC Films Shazam!
Shazam is one of the oldest comic characters around, originally known as Captain Marvel. It focused on a young teenager, Billy Batson, who becomes the superhero when he utters the magic word ‘Shazam!’. The name is an acronym for six gods and heroes of the ancient world as well as their attributes: the wisdom of Solomon, the strength of Hercules, the stamina of Aries, the power of Zeus, the courage of Achilles and the speed of Mercury.
Zachary Levi, well known for playing Chuck Bartowski in NBC’s spy comedy Chuck, whilst also appearing in the Thor sequels as Fandral, will play Earth’s mightiest mortal and according to the report, has landed the role whilst the likes of John Cena, Zane Holtz, illy Magnussen and Jake McDorman were in the mix for the part. The Shazam! project has been in the works for a number of years at New Line, with Dwayne Johnson being the only actor attached to the project, playing the villain Black Adam since 2014. In January we learned that Black Adam would be getting his own standalone film and that Dwayne Johnson won’t be involved in the Shazam! film. In February it was revealed that David F. Sandberg would direct the project.
Admittedly I’ve been a fan of Zachary Levi since the Chuck days and thinking about it logically whilst being glad that he’s landed a big role in a feature film, let alone a comic book film, he can definitely work the ‘man-child’ angle perfectly.
The report states that New Line still intends to start shooting in Toronto in February 2018 and aims to have the film released sometime in 2019.