Emmy nominated Ron C. Jones is reportedly in talks to join the cast of Shazam! as the Wizard. The This Is Us and Luke Cage actor hasn't had his name attached to the project before and the announcement has Shazam! fans more than excited. Details on the movie's plot are currently unclear, though most of the comic book stories follow an orphan child named Billy Batson who is granted the ability to become an adult hero with godlike powers by the ancient Wizard after he shouts Shazam!
The Wrap was the first to report that Ron Cephas Jones was in talks to take on the important role of the Wizard in Shazam! Jones is probably best known for his Emmy nominated role as Randall's estranged birth father on This is Us, but the actor is also known for roles in Luke Cage, Mr. Robot, The Get Down, and various theatre roles. There have not been any official announcements from either DC or Ron Cephas Jones, so we'll take this news with a pinch of salt just to be safe.
It was just announced last week that Shazam! will keep its initial release date of April 5th, 2019 with production beginning sometime next month. In addition to Ron Cephas Jones, Mark Strong has also joined the cast as the villainous Doctor Sivana. Jack Dylan Grazer, Grace Fulton, Ian Chen, Jovan Armand, Cooper Andrews, and Faithe Herman round out the rest of the cast. Disney's Asher Angel will portray the young Billy Baston who comes across the Wizard. The Wizard grants Baston the powers to turn into the adult superhero Shazam, which is played by Zachary Levi, but will still contain the intellect of the young child.
Zachary Levi has called Shazam! a version of Tom Hanks' 80s classic Big, which makes a lot of sense when one thinks about it. Instead of Zoltar, Billy Baston meets the Wizard and instead of turning into a toy developer, he turns into a superhero. It will be interesting to see the response that Shazam! gets from fans as the production moves along. The character is a pretty obscure one and the movie doesn't have the Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson attached as Black Adam, which was the initial setup.
The success of Shazam! and the standalone Black Adam will dictate whether or not we get to see the two characters battling it out on the big screen. David F. Sandberg is directing the project for New Line Cinema and DC. The Lights Out and Annabelle: Creation director will step behind the camera with Peter Safran producing. Henry Gayden and Darren Lemke wrote the script for Shazam!, which, as previously noted, is scheduled to shoot in Vancouver next month. The original report about Ron Cephas Jones joining the cast of Shazam! as the wizard was first reported by The Wrap.