Djimon Hounsou to Play The Wizard in Shazam!
Entertainment Weekly reports that Djimon Hounsou (Guardians of the Galaxy, King Arthur: Legend of the Sword) has been cast as The Wizard in DC’s Shazam! starring Zachary Levi in the title role. Hounsou is replacing Ron Cephas Jones (This Is Us) after a scheduling conflict prevented Jones from taking the role.
Hounsou is also set to reprise his role of Korath for Marvel Studios’ Captain Marvel in 2019, which arrives in theaters just weeks before Shazam! His casting, and the two film’s close release dates, are of note because the Shazam character was known as Captain Marvel for many decades.
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 he’ll need to master these powers quickly in order to fight the deadly forces of evil controlled by Dr. Thaddeus Sivana (Strong).
Hounsou will play the ancient Wizard who bestows Billy with mystical powers. He joins Asher Angel (Andi Mack) as Billy Batson, and Mark Strong (Kingsman) in the role of Super-Villain Dr. Thaddeus Sivana. The film 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 (This is Us); Eugene, played by Ian Chen (Fresh Off the Boat); and Pedro, played by Jovan Armand (Hawaii Five-0). Cooper Andrews (The Walking Dead) and Marta Milans (Killer Women) play foster parents Victor and Rosa Vasquez.
David F. Sandberg is directing for New Line Cinema. 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 is scheduled to shoot in Vancouver.
Dwayne Johnson will not appear as the villain Black Adam in the film and is developing a solo film for the anti-hero as a separate project.
Created in 1939 by artist C. C. Beck and writer Bill Parker, Shazam first appeared in Fawcett Comics’ Whiz Comics #2. By saying the world “Shazam,” teenager Billy Batson was transformed into the “world’s mightiest mortal” and given extraordinary abilities by ancient gods.
Shazam! will debut in theaters on April 5, 2019.