Shazam: Everything We Know About DC's 2019 Movie
By fate or some divine sense of irony, 2019 marks the big screen debut of not one but two different Captains Marvel, one played by Brie Larson for the MCU and the other, under his new name "Shazam," played by Zachary Levi for DC. Thankfully, the name change makes it a little easier to differentiate between the two of them, but the comics history side of things has never been more tricky to explain.
But never fear. You don't actually need to be well versed in the ins and outs of Golden Age comics to understand or prepare for both Captain Marvel and Shazam! As they speed towards their release dates next year. It's okay. You're free of that burden. In fact, all you really need to know about Shazam moving forward is that he's actually a kid named Billy Batson who is able to magically turn into an adult superhero. Think the Tom Hanks movie Big meets Superman. That's it, that's the whole story. No space aliens or Infinity Stones to worry about at all.
Shazam will be the second major superhero release of 2019, so we've still got a little time to wait before the information really starts pouring in--but regardless, it's never too early to start rounding up exactly what we know. Here are the confirmed details for DC's first movie of the new year.
A cast full of kids, and kids at heart
Shazam's cast is comprised of some heavy hitters for pop culture die-hards. Here's who has been confirmed for the film.
- Zachary Levi as ShazamAsher Angel as Billy Baton, Shazam's kid alter ego
- Jack Dylan Grazer as Freddy Freeman, Billy's foster brother
- Mark Strong as Dr. Sivana, the central villain
- Djimon Hounsou as The Wizard Shazam, who gives Billy his powers
- Grace Fulton as Mary Bromfield, Billy's foster sister
It's well on its way
Shazam! Is hitting theaters on April 5, 2019, making it a nice little superhero diversion between Captain Marvel and Endgame. A palette cleanser, if you will.
It's an origin story
Unsurprisingly, we're going to be meeting Billy Batson at the very beginning of his story, before he has any of his powers. We'll be watching as he learns how to be a hero, right from the start, including all the hilarious instances of he and Freddy trying to figure out exactly what his powers even are in real time.
Dr. Sivana is the villain, but he might not be alone
Mark Strong's Dr. Sivana is one of Shazam's oldest and most nefarious foes, but we don't have much information about just what he wants or what his plans are in this particular iteration. There's a chance we might see other classic comics bad guys in the mix as well, cropping up from the magical corners of the DC universe to join the fray--Sivana often times has a direct connection to the personifications of the Seven Deadly Sins, which may or may not come into play.
It's part of the DCEU--sort of
Though DC's method of building out a shared universe is considerably different than Marvel's, Shazam will still technically take place in the wider DCEU, despite not having any real plot connection or confirmed cameos to any of the other film franchises. These characters will know they live in a world where heroes like Aquaman, Batman and Wonder Woman exist, but they won't interact with them--at least, as far as we know.
It's based off the New 52 comics
Shazam is a character with some complicated comic book history. Once a Golden Age hero called Captain Marvel (no, not that one), the rights to his books were bought, sold, shelved, and reworked over and over for decades before landing in the modern era with a new name and a slightly reworked backstory. The 2019 movie will follow the most recent rework, which took place after the 2011 DC relaunch, The New 52.
The whole "Shazam Family" has been cast, but may not get their powers
Over in the comics, Shazam rarely works alone. He's accompanied by a "family" of heroes with similar powers who, after the New 52 reboot, were modified to be Billy Batson's foster brothers and sisters. We know that the whole crew, Darla, Eugene, and Pedro in addition to core characters Freddy Freeman and Mary Bromfield will be making appearances, but whether or not they'll be similarly empowered by the end of the movie is anyone's guess.