Shazam! Begins Production; Cast And Character Names Clarified
by Erik Amaya
Warner Bros. Pictures and New Line Cinema announced today that production on Shazam! has commenced in Toronto.
According to the synopsis which came along with the news, the film centers on Billy Batson (Asher Angel) a “streetwise 14-year-old foster kid can turn into the adult Super Hero Shazam (Zachary Levi), courtesy of an ancient wizard.” While still a boy inside an adult’s superhero body, “Shazam revels in this adult version of himself by doing what any teen would do with superpowers: have fun with them! Can he fly? Does he have X-ray vision? Can he shoot lightning out of his hands? Can he skip his social studies test? Shazam sets out to test the limits of his abilities with the joyful recklessness of a child. But he’ll need to master these powers quickly in order to fight the deadly forces of evil controlled by Dr. Thaddeus Sivana (Mark Strong).”
The announcement also clears up a number of characters many presumed would appear in the film based on casting news. For instance, Grace Fulton will play Mary; a fact never really firmed up before. She we will the oldest of Billy’s foster-siblings, which also includes Jack Dylan Grazer as Freddy, Faithe Herman as Darla, Ian Chen as Eugene, and Pedro, and Jovan Armand as Pedro. Cooper Andrews and Marta Milans play foster parents Victor and Rosa Vasquez, and as previously reported, Ron Cephas Jones the Wizard. According to director David F. Sandberg, the wizard will be called Shazam in the film while publicity refer to him as “the Wizard” to avoid confusion.
Curiously, the announcement clarifies that the film is “firmly set in the DC Universe but with his own distinctly fun, family-centric tone” as established by creators Bill Parker and C.C. Beck. Which is a nice way of putting worries about the continuing film universe as fidelity to the Captain Marvel world to rest with one single message. Still makes you wonder if the film will someone sneak Shazam’s original name into the proceedings.
Shazam! opens on April 5th, 2019.