There have been several notable casting announcements for Shazam, a DC Extended Universe flick that is set to debut on April 4, 2019. While we already have actors for Billy Batson (Asher Angel), his superhero form (Zachary Levi) and Freddy Freeman (Jack Dylan Grazer), director David F. Sandberg has released a (joking?) image implying many more to come.
The Shazam franchise centers around Billy Batson, a young boy who is given the power to change into an adult superhero by saying the magic word “Shazam!” The film will also include Freddy Freeman; the official cast information says that he is Billy’s best friend, while in the comics he also gains superpowers and becomes his sidekick.
In the Instagram picture, Sandberg shows two bulletin boards with 94 sheets of paper; three are pictures of the above-mentioned actors, while the rest merely show question marks. Sandberg writes “With @jackdgrazer as Freddy that’s now three actors officially announced for Shazam!”
Sandberg has shown himself to be a jokester, having also released an obviously fake page of the script and images of his desk covered in action figures. One hopes, then, that the actual movie will not have so many parts to fill, especially since one major criticism of the DCEU so far has been its rushed attempt to introduce too many characters into its films. The Marvel Family cast is already pretty extensive, after all.
Notably absent from Sandberg’s wall are Mark Strong, who has been reported to be tapped for the role of villain Doctor Sivana, and Grace Fulton, who has been cast in an unspecified role. Many believe she will be playing Mary Batson/Bromfield, Billy’s twin sister and the third member of their superhero team.
Shazam was actually in development before the DCEU began, and has now been repurposed for the franchise. It has been consistently described by Sandberg and others as a more lighthearted movie than previous entries in the series; Levi has compared it to Marvel’s Guardian of the Galaxy, being a very fun but lesser-known property that could become a hugely successful film. Many fans are hoping that it will thus avoid the general criticism that the DCEU has been overly dour and joyless, and hit that sweet spot that Wonder Woman managed to achieve, being serious but also optimistic and hopeful.