The Hollywood Reporter breaks the big news a lot of us have been waiting for: just who the heck was playing Shazam (the hero formerly known as Captain Marvel) to one day, presumably, pair off against Dwayne Johnson’s Black Adam. Who knows if that day will ever actually come, but we do have a Shazam now and it’s an actor incredibly familiar to geekdom (no, it’s not John Cena).
According to THR’s report today, Zachary Levi will don the Big Red Cheese’s lightning emblazoned outfit in David F. Sandberg’s Shazam! which begins filming soon for a projected April 2019 release. Shazam! will be the next DC Films project to follow James Wan’s Aquaman which opens in December of next year.
Levi is an interesting subject in this sphere, given that his Nerd HQ was a big attraction at San Diego Comic Con for the past few years (and was a sometimes controversial subject during its 2014 IndieGoGo campaign). Levi announced back before the summer that Nerd HQ would not make an appearance at SDCC 2017. But now that he’s lined up for this major role? Expect Levi to be back in a big way at what is one of the central pillars of the DC Films marketing strategy. Who knows if his organization will follow behind him?
Other actors that were rumored for the part include Cena, Billy Magnussen, and Jake McDorman. But Levi’s star power, and instant cred with the intended audience, surely gave him the leg up. He’s a charming actor, and pack enough muscle on him (anybody can do it with the right trainer, guys) and you’ve got the makings of a really likable superhero lead and a pretty strong personality difference that should easily set him apart from Henry Cavill’s Superman.
Now, who is gonna play Sivana?