We know that Shazam! kicked off production on the 29th of last month thanks to director David F. Sandberg's social media, but now we're learning some new things. A press release went out saying that the movie was in production, and Business Insider got a press release from New Line Cinemas and Warner Bros. The first thing it does is give us a nice, detailed summary of what this movie is going to be about.
We all have a superhero inside us, it just takes a bit of magic to bring it out. In Billy Batson's (Asher Angel) case, by shouting out one word—SHAZAM!—this streetwise 14-year-old foster kid can turn into the adult Super Hero Shazam (Zachary Levi), courtesy of an ancient wizard. Still a kid at heart—inside a ripped, godlike 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).
We already know that Asher Angel is the young Billy Batson, Zachary Levi is the adult Shazam, and Mark Strong is the villain but we also get a detailed cast list including the name of Grace Fulton's character. Is Mary Marvel in the cards?
"Shazam!" also stars Jack Dylan Grazer ("IT") as Billy's best friend and ultimate superhero enthusiast, Freddy, part of the foster family that includes Mary, played by Grace Fulton ("Annabelle: Creation"); Darla, played by Faithe Herman (TV's "This is Us"); Eugene, played by Ian Chen (TV's "Fresh Off the Boat"); and Pedro, played by Jovan Armand (TV's "Hawaii Five-O"). Cooper Andrews (TV's "The Walking Dead") and Marta Milans (TV's "Killer Women") play foster parents Victor and Rosa Vasquez, with Ron Cephas Jones ("This is Us") as the Wizard.
Finally, we got a list of executive producers including Dwayne Johnson who has been cast as Black Adam for what feels like half a lifetime now. Other executive producers include Christopher Godsick, Jeffrey Chernov, Dany Garcia, and Hiram Garcia.
The summary makes it sound like they're really leaning in on the fact that this is going to be a very different superhero story from previous DC adventures. A sharp tonal change will keep things interesting if nothing else.
Shazam!, directed by David F. Sandberg, stars Zachary Levi, Mark Strong, Grace Fulton, Faithe Herman, Jack Dylan Grazer, and Asher Angel, and will be written by Henry Gayden and Darren Lemke. It will be released on April 5th, 2019.