DC’s Shazam! casts more of Billy Batson’s friends, in the forms of Eugene and Pedro. When DC announced they’d be bringing Shazam! to life as part of their film slate, the move seemed like one designed to craft a more light-hearted and family friendly movie. The addition of horror veteran David F. Sandberg as the director seemed to slightly derail this notion, but it’s been clear since he’s joined that young Billy Batson and his foster family would be a key part of the film.
With star Zachary Levi describing Shazam! as DC’s Guardians of the Galaxy, it seems as if a more humorous and fantastical tone will follow the film from the comics. The film will also include other young members of Billy Batson’s extended family, setting up the possibility of them gaining powers like in the comics. Freddy Freeman has joined Shazam! already, teasing the arrival of his alter-ego Captain Marvel Jr. in the film. Now, two more of Batson’s peers have been cast for the movie.
Deadline is reporting that Ian Chen (Fresh Off the Boat) and Jovan Armand (Bella and the Bulldogs) have joined Shazam! as Eugene and Pedro, respectively. In the comics, Eugene Choi and Pedro Peña are two of Billy’s foster siblings and friends, and they eventually gain powers of their own.
While characters like Mary Marvel and Freddy Freeman date back to the early days of Shazam! aka. Captain Marvel, Eugene and Pedro were created by Geoff Johns for 2011’s Flashpoint. The next year saw them join DC’s New 52 universe and further established them as Billy’s foster family members. DC Films has so far pulled a lot from New 52 and Rebirth, so it’s no surprise to see Eugene and Pedro join the Shazam! film. After all, the very prominence of Shazam! in the DC Universe is thanks to him joining the Justice League in the New 52 reboot of the comics.
Like nearly every one of Billy Batson’s friends and family members in the comics, Eugene and Pedro eventually gain powers similar to Shazam! While the film is unlikely to be packed with super-powered children, the future of the franchise could see things follow the comics. The addition of Pedro, Eugene, and Freddy also means Billy’s other two siblings, Mary and Darla, should be cast soon too.
Just last week, Sandberg promised more Shazam! casting news soon and some of that is already here. With the film starting production early next year for a 2019 release, it’s no surprise that the principal cast is being locked in. Grace Fulton has joined Shazam! as an unnamed friend of Billy’s, and the young hero himself will be played by Angel Asher. With production right around the corner, expect even more Shazam! casting announcements very soon.
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