British actor Mark Strong has revealed just how pleased he was to get the role of primary villain Doctor Sivana in Shazam!, as he feels he has “unfinished business” in the DC universe after the 2011 version of Green Lantern failed to take off. Strong is cast as the evil Dr. Thaddeus Sivana, and will be a thorn in the side of Zachary Levi and the rest of the Marvel family when the film is released in 2019.
Despite the recent DC Films shake-ups and criticism of some movies like Justice League, the production of Shazam! continues to ramp up under director David F. Sandberg, with a firm release date recently given by Warner Bros. Lead actor Levi recently traveled to Toronto to start filming in earnest as the titular superhero, and he even teased the possibility of cameos by other DCEU characters. Casting choices continue to be announced as young actors such as Faithe Herman also join the film, as members of Billy Batson’s (Asher Angel) Marvel family, who are a vital part of the comic book stories and the hero’s origins.
For his part, Strong was linked with the role of Sivana in November of last year, and this has now been proven to be accurate. Speaking to Celebretainment at a London show, the actor stated why he was driven to take the part and how his earlier DC role influenced his decision:
“I’m playing an evil bastard called Doctor Sivana, they are always the best characters to play, the most fun. I was Sinestro in Green Lantern which I thought was a rather good film but it didn’t do what they wanted so I feel like I’ve got unfinished business in the DC world, I played a pretty evil character in that and he was meant to get even worse in the second one but that never happened but I think I’m going to get the chance to do that in Shazam!, I hope so.”
The post-credits sequence of Green Lantern showed Sinestro absorbing the energy from a Yellow ring, and if a sequel had been made it presumably would have seen the creation of the Sinestro Corps and pitted Hal Jordan (Ryan Reynolds) against him. But due to the overwhelmingly negative response and lack of profit from the film, Strong was never able to take the character to his full evil potential. This goes part way to explain his eagerness to take on the role of Sivana. The character has gone through various incarnations since his appearance in 1940, but has always remained a formidable nemesis to Shazam!/Captain Marvel with his superior intelligence and death-dealing inventions. Always depicted as bald and spectacled, the villain was even once part of the Injustice League and is sometimes called “The World’s Wickedest Scientist.”
During the interview, Strong happened to refer to intense training for some upcoming stunt work in the film. He also revealed some of the methods being used to keep the plot details secret. Digital copies of the script go “fuzzy” if not viewed for 20 seconds, and everything is “watermarked and traceable.” Given some of the comments made by Strong, and Levi’s statement that the film could be the DCEU’s version of Guardians of the Galaxy, Shazam! increasingly looks like it’s going to be a very strong part of the future DC movie universe.
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