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.
Variety is reporting that Grace Fulton (whose credits include Ghost Whisperer and Annabelle: Creation) is in talks to play the role of one of Billy Boston’s friends, while The Hollywood Reporter is reporting that Mark Strong (whose credits include Miss Sloane and Kingsman: The Golden Circle) is in talks to play the role of Doctor Sivana aka Thaddeus Sivana, Shazam’s longtime arch nemesis. Sivana has traditionally been portrayed as one of the smartest men alive, but one given to squandering his gifts on ridiculous inventions that no one could understand, turning him bitter, twisted and eager to do the wrong thing as long as it helped him out.
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. Last week it was announced that Zachary Levi has been cast in the lead role.
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.