DC has found their Shazam!, but they've made a bit of a surprising choice. Zachary Levi, who plays Fandral in the Thor movies over in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, has been cast to take on the lead role in the Shazam movie. Not only is this a much more significant role in terms of comic book movies, but Levi is now going to have the honor of being known as "Earth's mightiest mortal." One who's powerful enough to go toe-to-toe with Superman, which is really saying something.
Shazam is currently in pre-production and is expected to start shooting in February. So casting the lead roles is something we've been expecting to hear official word on. Zachary Levi will play the grownup version of the character. In case you aren't familiar, the story follows a boy named Billy Batson, who can transform into an adult superhero by uttering the magic word "Shazam!" The word is an acronym of 6 Greek elders; Solomon, Hercules, Atlas, Zeus, Achilles, and Mercury. He's gifted with amazing strength, speed, flight, and other such powers. That being the case, the young actor playing Billy Batson still needs to be cast.
Zachary Levi has primarily been known for comedic roles, such as his work in NBC's Chuck. He's also had more of a comedic presence as Fandral in the Thor movies, but Shazam should be something different for him. Not to mention that he beat out other contenders for the role, such as John Cena (Sisters), Zane Holtz (From Dusk Til Dawn: The Series) and Jake McDorman (Limitless). The important thing when it comes to Levi is his size. Shazam is quite the huge superhero. So, unless they're going in a totally different direction, he's going to have to bulk in in the next few months to look the part.
David F. Sandberg is set to direct Shazam, which is the next DCEU movie going into production. The director had a huge hit with Annabelle: Creation this year and another with last year's Lights Out. Though he's primarily known for horror, he's proven to be a guy who can make the studio a lot of money. Plus, he's worked a lot with James Wan, who just so happens to be directing Aquaman.
The Shazam movie is currently set for release on April 5, 2019. The project has been in development for a very long time and, originally, Dwayne Johnson was supposed to star as the villain Black Adam, but that has since changed. Though, Johnson is expected to still play the role at some point. The Hollywood Reporter notes that Johnson's Black Adam solo movie is being developed "concurrently" with Shazam. This is a big deal for DC fans, as Shazam is one of the most powerful heroes in that universe. Zachary Levi may not have been who anyone predicted, but it's, at the very least, an interesting choice. We'll be sure to keep you up to date as more details on the project are made available.