Warner Bros. has found a lead for Shazam! in the form of Chuck star Zachary Levi. The DC movie universe is on the verge of exploding with Justice League just on the horizon, and that popularity has allowed for growth. Warner Bros.’ may have solo movies for multiple Justice League members that are struggling to get off the ground, but they’ve moved quickly to get Shazam! in a position to be the second film in a post-Justice League world.

David F. Sandberg was announced to direct the project at the beginning of the year – and now that the pre-production period is winding down, it has become more important than ever for casting to be finalized. This process has been in the works for months, but fans have been left waiting for official word on who will play Billy Batson and his superhero form of Shazam.

Related: Shazam Director Anticipates Inevitable Backlash

We finally know part of the puzzle as it is being reported that Zachary Levi is set to play the lead role in Shazam! for Warner Bros, as reported by THR. Levi reportedly beat out fan favorite John Cena and Limitless‘ Jake McDorman for the role. The Wrap’s Umberto Gonzalez also reports Levi beat out Zane Holtz (From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series), Billy Magnussen (Into the Woods), and Derek Theler (Baby Daddy). He is no stranger to the superhero genre, after having taken over the role of Fandral in Thor: The Dark World in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Sandberg took to Instagram to further confirm the casting.

*insert lightning bolt on chest*

A post shared by David F. Sandberg (@ponysmasher) on

Warner Bros. is looking to start filming Shazam! at the turn of the calendar year, so it is great to finally know who will be leading the film, and knowing it is in more than capable hands. Levi is far from a household name but is still recognizable enough from Chuck and other projects that he has a dedicated fan base. Now that he is going to be leading a potential franchise, his notoriety is only going to continue to increase. He’s proven plenty of times before he has the charisma and comedic timing that Sandberg was clearly looking for.

With Shazam now cast, it will hopefully not take too long before we find out who is filling out the rest of the cast. They still have Shazam’s very important other half, Billy Batson, to cast and that announcement could be on the horizon now. Additionally, audition tapes have teased the inclusion of Freddy Freeman and the entire Marvel Family. There are clearly several roles left to be cast, and the process is already off to a great start.

NEXT: Shazam Confirmed For 2019 Release

Source: THR

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