The Shazam movie may bring an entire family of new superheroes to DC movies - and we may have figured out the actors playing them. For those who know the New 52 comic series that the movie looks to be based on, the moment when Billy Batson shares his lightning magic with his foster family is too good to pass up. The Shazam children have been cast... but what about their adult, superhero forms?
We've done our best to dig into the constant culprit in superhero casting leaks - the cast's own social media activity - and have come up with some persuasive evidence. The shared 'follows' may not last, and to the credit of Shazam's director and cast, the effort to keep the Shazam Family actors under wraps is obvious. But you can't have this many actors converging on Toronto in secret without someone noticing.
Here are the actors and actresses we think have been cast as the DCEU's Shazam Family (in adult form).
Adam Brody is Freddie Freeman
The ensemble cast of Shazam are all likely to get their moments in the spotlight, but it's Freddy Freeman who gets the eventual title of "Captain Marvel Jr." in the comics. In the New 52 version of the story, Freddy is what bonds Billy Batson to his new family, eager to welcome the new orphan into their foster family. And if seeing him being flown over the city on Shazam's back - as the hero clutches his unneeded crutches - doesn't warm your heart, then the moment he becomes a healthy, strong, and adult hero is guaranteed to.
In the film that role has fallen to actor Jack Dylan Grazer (IT, Me, Myself and I). But it seems that actor Adam Brody (The O.C.) has been chosen to bring the older Freddy to life. And on paper, it seems like a perfect match. Grazer's natural comedy skills made him one of the most memorable members of IT'S young cast. Freddy is better known for troublemaking than one-liners in the New 52 version of the story, but assuming that talent is what earned Grazer the part in the film, Brody's own quick wit and quicker humor would fit flawlessly.
Brody was spotted in Toronto during the first weeks of March in the same shooting window as the other actors we suspect have been cast (hat tip to celeb spotter MrWillWong.com) which means he may finally get his chance to join the DC Universe on film. Brody was cast as Wally West a.k.a. The Flash in George Miller's Justice League Mortal, famously scrapped just days away from beginning production. Freddy Freeman's superhero form may not be the A-List level of Flash, but it's still a second shot. And believe it or not... he's not the only Mortal cast member joining the Shazam Family.
Ross Butler is Eugene Choi
Along with the foster family added to the core Shazam origin with Geoff Johns' New 52 story is Eugene Choi, a young boy who is easily the smartest of the family. Eugene is being played in the movie by Ian Chen (Fresh Off The Boat), but if he will also be transformed into an older, more "heroic" young man by the power of Shazam, it looks like Ross Butler (Riverdale, 13 Reasons Why) will be taking on that role. Butler was again spotted by MrWillWong.com with his somewhat recent follows on Instagram leading to a number of other suspected cast members.
One of the main reasons why Butler's casting seems so likely is also the reason why Eugene Choi is such a welcome addition to the DCEU: there simply aren't many heroic faces of Asian descent either on screen, or soon to be on screen for either DC or Marvel. The Singapore-born Butler has smartly turned his acting accolades into upward momentum, quickly becoming one of the most talked about Asian American actors breaking into the industry spotlight. And an actor as recognizable among a teen audience role won't hurt Shazam's chances with the whole family.
In the comics, Eugene's affection for digital devices and technology also opened up a new door into the Shazam mythology. He became an older, more athletic hero of Butler's age when transformed. But he also had the unique ability to communicate with machinery and technology through magic. No word on whether the movie will follow suit, but a strong addition to the cast regardless.
Michelle Borth is Mary Bromfield
The main cast of the movie and its director David F. Sandberg may have refrained from mass follows doled out to these secret stars (who, judging by the dates, began their shoot or at least rehearsals in early March). But that didn't stop the secret cast members playing the adult Shazam Family from following eachother. Which has led to the likely choice for Mary Marvel: actress Michelle Borth.
Fans will recognize Borth from a number of TV appearances in Hawaii Five-0, Combat Hospital, and The Forgotten. And anyone who has seen her on the former knows she has the action chops to pull off the role of Mary Marvel-- now 'Mary Bromfield.' Originally introduced as Billy's sister, the New 52 established her as one of the more level-headed foster kids.
The idea of an actress to play Mary's 'superhero' alter ego was itself an odd question (after all, actress Grace Fulton is only 22). But Sandberg and New Line deserve recognition for ignoring the oft-heard claim that studios desire young, marketable, if unproven stars for long-term contracts. Instead, they picked an actress who is actually two years older than the film's leading man (which makes sense given the younger cast's age differences). Imagine that!
Those with doubts may want to head to Borth's Instagram page for what looks to be a glimpse of her 'Mary Marvel' look.
D.J. Cotrona is Pedro
Yes, the actor once fated to be DC's newest Superman in Justice League Mortal also seems to be getting a second kick at the can. Fittingly, as one of the family of Shazam - the hero most famous for being a Superman analogue. D. J. Cotrona (From Dusk Til Dawn: The Series) came as close as Adam Brody, and this time around, will be playing the adult superhero, and likely bearded form of Pedro, Billy Batson's other foster sibling.
There isn't that much time spent developing Pedro's character in the New 52 version of Shazam's story, which means the version played by Jovan Armand (The Middle) in the film has some freedom. The main detail relevant to Pedro is that he is big for his age, leading to a lack of confidence and hesitation to show who he really is. When Billy shares the Shazam magic with his foster siblings, Pedro takes on the shape of a Herculean, bearded strongman.
Cotrona may not match that physical description, but in the world of movie superhero fitness, Pedro being notably "big" would mean... casting one of the world's largest men. Given Cotrona's looks, the novelty of Pedro's transformation still works. And if you stick to the common idea that the lightning turns the kids into the adults THEY WILL BECOME (hence the other cast's resemblance) Pedro will have the last laugh.
Meagan Good is Darla Dudley
No part of the transformation from children to adult superheroes is more heartwarming than Darla Dudley's, the youngest of the foster kids (and the sweetest, with little competition). Aged up from a grade-schooler to only a higher grade-schooler, Darla made sure that younger readers didn't feel left out once the Shazam Family transformed to grown-ups.
Judging by the Instagram action between the previously mentioned actors, Meagan Good (Minority Report) has been followed and followed back these same cast members. With only Darla's adult form unaccounted for, the evidence speaks for itself. It's an interesting choice to shift Darla's transformation to a true adult age, but we suppose the jump from 7 to 14 plays better in artwork than it does in live-action (and makes the resemblance differences a bit harder to ignore).
- Shazam! (2019) release date: Apr 05, 2019