Production is underway on New Line Cinema's Shazam!, it was confirmed by Warner Bros. today, one week after the first set photo arrived. David F. Sandberg (Annabelle: Creation) directs the origin story, which stars Zachary Levi (TV's Chuck) as the titular DC Super Hero, along with Asher Angel (TV's Andi Mack) as Billy Batson, and Mark Strong (the Kingsman movies) in the role of Super-Villain Dr. Thaddeus Sivana. Peter Safran (upcoming Aquaman, The Conjuring and Annabelle films) serves as the film's producer.
We all have a superhero inside us, it just takes a bit of magic to bring it out. In Billy Batson's (Angel) case, by shouting out one word-SHAZAM!-this streetwise 14-year-old foster kid can turn into the adult Super Hero Shazam (Levi), courtesy of an ancient wizard. Still a kid at heart-inside a ripped, godlike body-Shazam revels in this adult version of himself by doing what any teen would do with superpowers: have fun with them! Can he fly? Does he have X-ray vision? Can he shoot lightning out of his hands? Can he skip his social studies test? Shazam sets out to test the limits of his abilities with the joyful recklessness of a child. But Billy Batson will need to master these powers quickly in order to fight the deadly forces of evil controlled by Dr. Thaddeus Sivana (Strong).
Shazam! also stars Jack Dylan Grazer (IT) as Billy's best friend and ultimate superhero enthusiast, Freddy, part of the foster family that includes Mary, played by Grace Fulton (Annabelle: Creation); Darla, played by Faithe Herman (TV's This is Us); Eugene, played by Ian Chen (TV's Fresh Off the Boat); and Pedro, played by Jovan Armand (TV's Hawaii Five-O). Cooper Andrews (TV's The Walking Dead) and Marta Milans (TV's Killer Women) play foster parents Victor and Rosa Vasquez, with Ron Cephas Jones (This is Us) as The Wizard.
Christopher Godsick, Jeffrey Chernov, Dwayne Johnson, Dany Garcia and Hiram Garcia are serving as executive producers. This is the first we're hearing of Dwayne Johnson and his producing partners Dany Garcia and Hiram Garcia boarding the project as executive producers, which is interesting because Dwayne Johnson was previously attached to star as the villain Black Adam in this movie. Ultimately, Black Adam was removed from this project and given his own stand alone movie, with Dwayne Johnson teasing that his character will get a surprise introduction in an upcoming DCEU movie. With the actor serving as an executive producer on Shazam!, it's possible he could also have a brief cameo in this story, or possibly appear in a post-credit scene.
Sandberg's creative team includes his Annabelle: Creation director of photography Maxime Alexandre, production designer Jennifer Spence, editor Michel Aller and costume designer Leah Butler. Set primarily in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, principal photography for the film is taking place in Toronto. Firmly set in the DC universe but with his own distinctly fun, family-centric tone, the character first appeared in Whiz Comics in 1940 and was created by Bill Parker and C.C. Beck. A New Line Cinema production, Shazam! is set for release on April 5, 2019. It will be distributed worldwide by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.