Exclusive: Mark Strong Was Almost the Villain in X-Men: First Class
Mark Strong has appeared in four major superhero franchises, including Kick-Ass, Green Lantern, Kingsman and this weekend’s Shazam! but he almost was the villainous mutant Sebastian Shaw in 2011’s X-Men: First Class. Being that it was directed by his longtime cohort Matthew Vaughn it seemed like an obvious choice, but the role ultimately went to Kevin Bacon. Strong told ComingSoon.net exclusively why he ultimately didn’t land the part.
“Matthew Vaughn did ask me to do ‘X-Men: First Class,'” Strong confirmed. “There was a bad guy in ‘X-Men’ that Kevin Bacon played. Because I speak German it just seemed so logical having worked with him that I would play that part, but I think at that point we both felt… I think I had just done Blackwood in ‘Sherlock Holmes’ and it had been just too many bad guys very recently. So that one we didn’t go down the path of that.”
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).
The cast includes Asher Angel (Andi Mack) as Billy Batson, Djimon Hounsou (Guardians of the Galaxy) as The Wizard, 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.
Directed by David F. Sandberg from a script by Henry Gayden and Darren Lemke, Shazam! will arrive in theaters on April 5 following night screenings on April 4.