The recent news that Chuck actor Zachary Levi would be joining the cast of David F. Sandberg’s Shazam! in the titular role was met with a decidedly mixed reaction. However, acclaimed actor Mark Strong (the Kingsman films) is currently in talks to join the cast as Doctor Sivana, who first appeared in 1940’s Zip Comics #2, facing off against Shazam when he was still called Captain Marvel. Strong has become kind of a go-to actor for movies like this, playing Sinestro in 2011’s Green Lantern, Lord Blackwood in 2009’s Sherlock Holmes, and Matai Shang in 2012’s John Carter.
There’s still no word on who will be playing teenager Billy Batson, Shazam’s human alter ego, but we do know that Sandberg will be teaming up once again with Grace Fulton, who starred in Annabelle: Creation and has secured a role in Shazam! Dwayne Johnson’s Black Adam will not be featured in this origin story, however. Instead, he’ll be getting his own solo movie following Shazam!, leading up to an encounter between the two at some undetermined point in the future.
Sandberg’s Shazam! is one of many standalone films currently in some stage of development or production with Warner Bros. and DC. James Wan’s Aquaman is on track for a December 2018 release date, with Patty Jenkins’ Wonder Woman sequel scheduled for December 2019, and standalone Batman and Flash movies in development with Matt Reeves and Greg Berlanti (rumored), respectively. Regardless of your feelings on Levi’s casting, the ensemble for this movie is shaping up to be one worth being excited for. Sanberg has proven himself to be an extremely capable director, crafting a series of effective horror films including 2016’s surprise hit, Lights Out.
Honored and greatly humbled to be a part of the #dcuniverse by bringing the original Captain Marvel to life. I am beside myself with gratitude, not only for this opportunity, but also the incredible outpouring of love and support from so many of you out there in the world. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ll be in the gym for the rest of forever. 🙏 (amazingly cool art courtesy of @bosslogic) #Shazam
Shazam! is set to hit theaters on April 5th, 2019!
Images: Warner Bros., DC, 20th Century Fox, New Line