Shazam! has cast relative newcomer Asher Angel in the role of Billy Batson. After years of quiet when it comes to Shazam!, the past few months have seen a flurry of announcements regarding the DC Comics adaptation. Earlier this summer, David F. Sandberg (Annabelle: Creation) came aboard as the film’s director, with the intention that filming would begin in February 2018. From there, the director’s frequent cinematographer and production designer joined Shazam!, while Sandberg himself has continued to tease fans with tidbits about the film’s story.
Less than two weeks ago, Shazam! finally landed a star in Zachary Levi, surprising many fans but proving to be a fairly popular casting choice overall. Last week, Levi was joined by more cast members, with Annabelle: Creation star Grace Fulton boarding Shazam! as a friend to the young Billy Batson. Given the dual nature of Billy and Shazam, with the child transforming into a superhero who still acts like a ten year old, Shazam! will have a delicate balancing act when it comes to character development. Now, we know who will be bringing the main character to life alongside Levi.
Variety is reporting that Angel has been cast in Shazam! as Billy Batson. Though he has a few small TV show roles under his belt, Angel is best known for playing Jonah Beck on Disney Channel’s Andi Mack. Later this year, he’ll star in the indie drama On Pointe, his first movie role. That film should thus offer a better idea of what to expect from the young actor, when he tackles a larger role like Billy Batson.
It’s difficult to judge the casting of Angel based on the few roles he’s had, but it’s safe to assume channeling the altruistic and idealistic Batson won’t be much of a challenge. What may prove trickier is tackling the more street-smart version of Batson that’s been part of his New 52 characterization. At this stage, however, it’s not clear what take on Batson will appear in the film.
With the two leads of the Shazam! locked in, the next big casting announcement will be the film’s villain. Last week, we learned Mark Strong is in talks to play Doctor Sivana, one of Shazam’s main rogues in the comics. Strong already has a relationship with DC thanks to playing Sinestro in Green Lantern, and he certainly looks the part of the newer iteration of Sivana from recent years.
Shazam! is set to start shooting early next year, meaning the rest of the core and supporting cast will be announced in the coming weeks. We’ve heard rumors of the Marvel Family appearing in the DC film, so a number of other prominent roles are still available. Stay tuned for more news regarding Shazam! as it arrives.
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