It just takes a little amount of magic to bring out the superhero inside us. Billy Batson, in this case, can turn into an adult superhero just by chanting the word SHAZAM!
An upcoming American superhero film, Shazam! is based on the DC Comics character of the same name, produced by New Line Cinema and distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures. It is intended to be the seventh installment in the DC Extended Universe (DCEU). Directed by David F. Sandberg from a screenplay by Henry Gayden, and a story by Gayden and Darren Lemke, the film is set to star Asher Angel as Billy Batson, a teenage boy who can transform via the magic word “Shazam” into an adult superhero, played by Zachary Levi. Shazam! also features Mark Strong, Jack Dylan Grazer, Grace Fulton, Ian Chen, Jovan Armand, Faithe Herman, Cooper Andrews, Marta Milans and Djimon Hounsou as supporting characters. It will be the first film version of the character since the 1941 serial Adventures of Captain Marvel (the character’s original name) and will be the first full-length feature film centered around the character.
A troubled 14-year-old orphan living in Philadelphia, Billy Batson, is set up to move into a new foster home – his seventh in a row – with the Vazquez family and their other five foster kids. One day, Billy gets on a subway car and finds himself transported to a different realm, where an ancient wizard gives him the power to transform into a godlike adult superhero by uttering the word “Shazam!” Billy and his new foster brother Freddy Freeman must learn what Billy’s new powers are and how to use them in order to stop the villain Dr. Thaddeus Sivana from wielding powers of his own.
CAST FOR SHAZAM!
- Asher Angel and Zachary Levi as Billy Batson / Shazam: A young boy who was given his powers by an ancient wizard and transforms into an adult with the powers of superhuman strength on par with Superman, speed, flight, and other abilities by uttering the word “Shazam”. David Kohlsmith will portray a young William “Billy” Batson.
- Mark Strong as Dr. Thaddeus Sivana: A successful yet twisted inventor and industrialist as the head of Sivana Industries. He too was summoned by the Wizard Shazam as a child, but was not chosen as his champion, leading Sivana to spend his life trying to unlock the secrets of magic through science.
- Djimon Hounsou as The Wizard Shazam: An ancient wizard who bestows his powers on Billy Batson so that he can magically transform into an adult superhero, who takes on the wizard’s name in his adult form.
Dwayne Johnson confirmed he would be starring in Shazam!, August 2016, but was undecided between portraying Shazam or Black Adam. In September, Johnson was confirmed to play Black Adam, while Darren Lemke was set to write the script. In January 2017, Henry Gayden was hired to rewrite Lemke’s script. In February 2017, David F. Sandberg was in talks with the studio to direct Shazam!, Dwayne Johnson was set to first star in a Black Adam solo film, as opposed to appearing as the villain in Shazam!, while Doctor Sivana, another arch-nemesis of Shazam, became the Shazam! film’s main villain.
Shazam! will be released in the United States by New Line Cinema and Warner Bros. Pictures in RealD 3D, Dolby Cinema and IMAX 3D on April 5, 2019.