After endless reports of directors and screenwriters signing on to projects and then promptly dropping out of consideration, we finally got some good casting news from the DCEU. According to Justin Kroll of Variety, Zachary Levi has won the part of Shazam, the adult superhero form of a normal teenager named Billy Batson. No actor has been confirmed for Batson, but Levi will now potentially share the screen with Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson who plays Shazam’s nemesis, Black Adam.
Levi seems like a perfect choice for the part because, even at age 37, he has maintained a boyish charm, both in appearance and personality. Most people probably know him from the TV show “Chuck,” but he also provided the voice for Flynn Rider in the Disney film “Tangled” and its numerous spinoffs. Perhaps most interesting of all, he has already appeared in the Marvel Cinematic Universe as Fandral, one of the Warriors Three and friend of Thor. Now he’s crossing over to the other comic book titan, and at first glance, he certainly fits the description of Shazam.
Most casual audiences probably don’t know a whole lot about the character of Shazam. Variety describes his name as “an acronym of the ancient gods and historical figures Solomon, Hercules, Atlas, Zeus, Achilles, and Mercury, from whom Batson derives his heroic attributes.” Just reading that already has me more excited for a “Shazam!” film! The combination of Levi (who seems like he should get more work) and Johnson only increases the intrigue. Hopefully DC can continue its hot streak after the success of “Wonder Woman” and give us a fresh story about the normal teenager suddenly blessed with superhuman abilities.
“Shazam!” will be directed by David F. Sandberg (“Lights Out,” “Annabelle: Creation”) and filming begins early 2018.