Green Lantern‘s Mark Strong may be returning to the DC Universe in a new villainous role.
The Wrap reports Strong is in talks to join the cast of Warner Bros. Pictures Shazam! as Dr. Sivana. One of the title character’s key villains going back to the Golden Age, Sivana debuted in Whiz Comics #2 and became Captain Marvel’s archfoe for decades.
Strong, of course, played the pre-villainous Sinestro in Warner Bros’ Green Lantern. From its final moments, Sinestro was intended to become Hal Jordan’s (Ryan Reynolds) opponent in the next film. But with lackluster box office and critical praise, the second installment in that series never materialized. Since then, Strong has gone on to play heavies in films like John Carter. He also kept a toe in the comic book world as Merlin in Kingsman: The Secret Service and its recent sequel Kingsman: The Golden Circle.
Last week, I joked about Jackie Earle Haley getting the role as he looks very much like Sivana and also has a nack for playing comic book antagonists. Also, he could play him with the broad tone of older Captain Marvel comics. Strong, however, suggests director David F. Sandberg is looking at a less cartoony take on the often silly scientist. That material is there as Sivana has a tragic past, a connection to Black Adam (who’s getting his own movie) and a science-based gimmick that can play well against Shazam’s (Zachary Levi) magical origin.
I suppose Haley will get the next villain role. He could always be a big screen version of The Thinker!
UPDATE: According to Variety, Grace Fulton, who appeared in Sandberg’s Annabel: Creation, is also in negotiations to join the film’s cast. Their report says she will play “one of Batson’s friends.” But considering Billy is presumably still a young boy, is it possible she’ll be Mary Marvel? Introducing the whole Marvel family — or whatever they’re called these days — would definitely set the film apart from other superhero movies, which usually focus on one hero.
Shazam! is set for a 2019 debut.