Director David F. Sandberg is all smiles as he posts a photo alongside his Shazam! star, Zachary Levi. It’s no secret that the Warner Bros. production went through a couple of hoops before it became the project it is now. Initial plans included Dwayne Johnson’s Black Adam. That has since changed and the word now is the DC villain will make his debut via Suicide Squad 2. While that is still up in the air, DC moved forward with Shazam! Asher Angel and Levi nabbed the film’s lead parts as young Billy Batson and his superhero alter-ego, respectively.
In the months after, casting has been progressing nicely. Supporting players have been cast, including Grace Fulton, Jack Dylan Grazer, Ian Chen and Jovan Armand as Billy’s friends, as well as Cooper Andrews in a yet-to-be-specified role. The latest one to board the project is This Is Us‘ Faithe Herman. Meanwhile, Mark Strong is eyed as Doctor Silvana, the project’s main antagonist.
Sandberg took it to his official Instagram account to upload a photo of him casually hanging out with Levi. It’s difficult to decipher just looking at the snap, but considering their padded parkas and the fact that the actor flew to Toronto last week, the two may be gearing up to start principal photography in the Canadian city. Check out the social media upload below:
With a slew of announced projects supposedly on their docket, many were surprised when DC Films opted to green light Shazam! for production after wrapping up filming for James Wan’s Aquaman. Arguably, the character is not your typical quintessential DC hero like Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman. But it being a non-mainstream IP can actually work to the film’s advantage as it could give the people involved the creative license of crafting their version of the hero without being constantly compared to past iterations on the big screen. Levi himself compared the project to Marvel Studios’ Guardians of the Galaxy not just in terms of tone, but also in fan-affinity. Before James Gunn’s 2014 movie, the cosmic ragtag team wasn’t known to many, but the film introduced them to the masses and they’re now one of MCU’s fan-favorites.
However Sandberg wants to spin his take on the character, the movie’s success hinges largely on Levi and Angel’s performance. The concept of Shazam! is already tricky to faithfully adapt on the big screen without looking too goofy, the filmmaker and his team should be able to craft a narrative that is simple enough just to effectively introduce Billy and his superhero alter-ego in a way that people can easily get behind this team-up.
KEY RELEASE DATES
Aquaman release date: Dec 21, 2018
Shazam! release date: Apr 5, 2019
Wonder Woman 2 release date: Nov 1, 2019