The film stars Zachary Levi, who plays the titular superhero, and Asher Angel, who plays Billy Batson, a young boy who turns into Shazam when he utters the name. “It” star Jack Dylan Grazer will play Freddy, Billy Batson’s best friend. Grace Fulton has been in negotiations to star as one of Batson’s friends and Mark Strong has been rumored to be attached as the villain.
David F. Sandberg (“Lights Out”) is directing from a script by Henry Gayden and Darren Lemke. Peter Safran is producing, with filming planned for this year. Sandberg, Safran, and Fulton worked together on New Line’s “Annabelle: Creation,” which has grossed over $300 million worldwide.
The name Shazam is an acronym of the ancient gods and historical figures Solomon, Hercules, Atlas, Zeus, Achilles, and Mercury. Batson derives his heroic attributes from those figures when in adult form.
“Shazam!” will be the next DC Cinematic Universe movie to hit theaters following Jason Momoa’s “Aquaman,” which will open Dec. 21. The superhero team-up “Justice League” has performed below expectations since its November launch with $654 million worldwide, while Gal Gadot’s “Wonder Woman” was a critical and commercial success with $821 million.
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Gadot and director Patty Jenkins are re-teaming on “Wonder Woman 2,” which opens Nov. 1, 2019.
Variety reported on Jan. 4 that Warner Bros. had continued to shake up its DC film operations, promoting Walter Hamada to oversee its comic book movies and serve as president of DC-based film production.