David F. Sandberg is hard at work preparing the DCEU installment of Shazam, and a new report says they're now casting members of the Marvel Family. Not to be confused with Marvel comics, Shazam's original name was actually Captain Marvel before DC Comics purchased him from Fawcett Comics and eventually dubbed him "Shazam" in order to avoid confusion - although the Marvel family name still stuck.
A number of audition tapes were recently leaked showing potential actors for the role of both Billy Batson and his adult-looking alter-ego, Shazam. Looking far and wide for the role of Shazam himself, it was even rumored at one point that John Cena was being considered, although his involvement doesn't seem likely anymore. Regardless, with shooting anticipated to begin early 2018, the official casting decisions will hopefully be finalized in the coming months, including official announcements.
In the early comics, the inclusion of other members of the Marvel family as Shazam's sidekicks made them the first superhero team of this nature, a concept that would later become much more prominent in DC comics with the Bat Family, the Superman family, and others. While these names understandably conjure up images of multiple members of the Marvel family fighting at Shazam's side, it looks like, at least for now, Shazam will be using a post-Flashpoint inspiration, meaning they'll be friends of Billy's, but likely won't transform as he does.
The report, thanks to That Hashtag Show, says the new character descriptions in question are as follows:
[DANIEL]11, Korean. Daniel is a smart kid, into video games and reading non-fiction. SUPPORTING
[CARLOS]15, Hispanic, overweight, with asthma. Carlos is very shy and sweet. SUPPORTING
[SUZY]8-10, African American. A sweet, bubbly girl with glasses and pigtails. SUPPORTING
The report says that each of these names are code names for the characters of Eugene Choi, Pedro Pena, and Darla Dudley, respectively. We've already seen other Marvel Family member Freddy Freeman teased, but Billy's twin sister, Mary Marvel, has yet to be teased (although it's doubtful that they'd consider the other children and not her).
Thanks to a character description for a character named "Frank," who That Hashtag Show believes represents Freddy Freeman, it also appears to be confirmed that Billy will be the only one with powers this time around: "[FRANK]11-13, Caucasian. A kid at the group home with "Billy", who becomes his friend and confident. Sarcastic and funny. SUPPORTING"
You can see their full report in the video below:
The most notable thing about this news is that the movie will likely very much lean into Billy Batson's life as a kid instead of ignoring that for the sake of super heroics, especially since the other Marvel family members may not be getting the same powers as Billy this time around. The young - and very diverse - cast of kids will easily make this one of the most unique movies in the DCEU so far, with all the other entries focusing on adult heroes and barely featuring kids, aside from occasional flashbacks to the hero's childhood.
With David F. Sandberg at the helm, this will clearly be the most tonally original movie on the DC slate. While Sandberg is primarily popular for his horror background with hits like Lights Out and Annabelle: Creation, he has a clear grasp of tone and is a genuinely funny person in real life, so there's no reason to believe he can't also translate that to the big screen with a story about a kid that gets superpowers to rival Superman.
Source: That Hashtag Show
- Aquaman (2018) release date: Dec 21, 2018
- Justice League (2017) release date: Nov 17, 2017
- Green Lantern Corps. (2020) release date: Jul 24, 2020
- Shazam! (2019) release date: Apr 05, 2019
- Wonder Woman 2 (2019) release date: Nov 01, 2019
- Cyborg (2020) release date: Apr 03, 2020