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DC’s ‘Shazam!’ Taps Star Zachary Levi

Zachary Levi will play the title character in New Line and DC Entertainment’s “Shazam!,” sources confirmed to Variety.

The film follows a boy named Billy Batson who can transform into an adult superhero by uttering the magic word “Shazam!” The name is an acronym of the ancient gods and historical figures Solomon, Hercules, Atlas, Zeus, Achilles, and Mercury, from whom Batson derives his heroic attributes from when in adult form.

David F. Sandberg is directing from a screenplay by Henry Gayden and Darren Lemke. “Annabelle: Creation’s” Peter Safran will produce.

“Shazam!” will be the next DC Cinematic Universe movie to begin shooting, ahead of the “Flashpoint,” “Batgirl,” which Joss Whedon will direct, and the “Suicide Squad” sequel, which Gavin O’Connor just came aboard to helm. DC and Warner Bros. are also currently developing a standalone film about “Black Adam,” Shazam’s arch nemesis. Dwayne Johnson is attached to play Black Adam in that pic.

Levi, best known for his role on “Chuck,” most recently appeared in NBC’s “Heroes Reborn” and the network’s Eva Longoria comedy “Telenovela.”

Other actors in the mix for the role in the last few months have included Zane Holtz, Billy Magnussen, and Jake McDorman, the star of TV’s “Limitless.”

Levi is repped by UTA and McKuin Frankel.

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