UPDATE: The casting agency has password protected the Shazam! audition tapes. We'll reshare should they open the videos up again.
Audition tapes to play the leading role of Billy Batson in Shazam! offer clues to the story and tone of the next DCEU film. Although the DC Extended Universe has been focusing on DC's Trinity thus far, one of the next projects on the horizon is that of Shazam!. The film has been in development for sometime thanks to Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson's commitment to play Black Adam. However, things are quite different now, what with The Rock getting his own solo Black Adam movie and no Shazam! appearance, instead.
Lights Out director David F. Sandberg is tackling Shazam! for Warner Bros. and New Line and he has made it clear that his own addition to the DCEU will be quite unlike everything that's come before it. Part of this can be chalked up to needing two actors to pull off the superhero role here, with one playing everyday kid Billy Batson and the other his ultra-powerful Shazam form.
Although casting for Bill Batson is already underway, there hadn't been any specific actors linked to the role - until now. Thanks to Omega Underground, we now have two audition tapes featuring some of the youngsters who are in-contention to play Batson. The videos (see below) not only reveal the age range desired for the role, but also give some insight into the tone and story of Shazam! itself.
It's not clear yet if either of the kids shown auditioning here are still in the running to play Billy in Shazam!, though these videos at least confirm that casting is underway, as previously-reported. As for Shazam! himself, John Cena is among those who have been named as contenders to play the superhero in the DCEU. With production set to start in February, Sandberg and his creative team should be pretty close to locking down actors for both sides of Shazam!'s title role
While the dialogue featured in these videos may not be from the actual Shazam! shooting script, it seems to offer a taste of the tone that the movie will be going for. Billy looks to bring a nice amount of both humor and heart to the proceedings, with the lighthearted tone that Sandberg desires shining through during Billy's exchange with the Wizard. Not only is their conversation humorous, but it may also show that Shazam! won't be afraid to embrace the unique and magical origin of its titular character. At the same time, some of these lines may signal a change to Billy's upbringing, possibly ditching the orphan element or changing his adoptive family situation.
Then again, these are just audition tapes, so some elements of the story may have been changed to try and keep the film's plot as secret as possible. Still, if these tapes are an indication of the tone and story, then Shazam! continues to sound promising.
Source: Omega Underground
- Wonder Woman 2 (2019) release date: Nov 01, 2019
- Cyborg (2020) release date: Apr 03, 2020
- Green Lantern Corps. (2020) release date: Jul 24, 2020
- Aquaman (2018) release date: Dec 21, 2018
- Justice League (2017) release date: Nov 17, 2017
- Shazam! (2019) release date: Apr 05, 2019