It looks like Shazam! has found its mighty wizard as Entertainment Weekly reports Djimon Hounsou (Guardians of the Galaxy) will portray The Wizard in the Zachary Levi-led film from director David Sandberg.
The Wizard is an ancient 3000-ear-old being who gifts the 13-year-old Billy Baston (Asher Angel) will the power of the gods, allowing him to transform into an adult with superpowers. Levi will portray the adult version of Baston as the hero Shazam.
It had previously been reported, but never confirmed, that This Is Us‘ Ron Cephas Jones would portray The Wizard, but he had to bow out due to scheduling conflicts. Hounsou’s casting was kept under wraps until now, presumably in the lead up to the San Diego Comic Con where many expect Shazam! to be shown off during Warner Bros. and DC’s presentation.
Hounsou will also be reprising his Guardians of the Galaxy role as the Kree mercenary Korath the Pursuer in next year’s Captain Marvel, starring alongside Brie Larson, Samuel L. Jackson, Clark Gregg and his Guardians co-star Lee Pace, who is returning as Ronin the Accuser. Coincidently, Captain Marvel was the original name for Shazam until DC decided to change the name a few years ago to avoid confusion with Marvel’s own Captain Marvel.
We all have a superhero inside us, it just takes a bit of magic to bring it out. In Billy Batson’s (Asher Angel) case, by shouting out one word—SHAZAM!—this streetwise 14-year-old foster kid can turn into the adult Super Hero Shazam (Zachary 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 (Mark Strong).”
Shazam will see Zachary Levi starring as the titular superhero, with Asher Angel as his young alter-ego Billy Batson, Jack Dylan Grazer as Freddy Freeman, Ian Chen as Eugene Choi, Jovan Armand as Pedro Peña, Grace Fulton as Mary Marvel, Cooper Andrews as Victor Vasquez, Faithe Herman as Darla Dudley, Mark Strong as Dr. Thaddeus Sivana, Djimon Hounsou as the Wizard, Adam Brody as Freddie Freeman, Ross Butler as Eugene Choi, D. J. Cotrona as Pedro Pena, Meagan Good as Darla Dudley, and Michelle Borth as Mary Bromfield. The film is set for release on April 5th 2019.