Asher Angel has been cast as Billy Batson opposite Zachary Levi in New Line’s DC superhero film “Shazam!,” sources tell Variety.
The film follows a boy (Angel) who can transform into an adult superhero by uttering the magic word “Shazam!” The name is an acronym of the ancient gods and historical figures Solomon, Hercules, Atlas, Zeus, Achilles, and Mercury, who Batson derives his heroic attributes from when in adult form.
Mark Strong is in talks for the role of the villain, while Grace Fulton will play one of Angel’s friends.
“Lights Out” helmer David F. Sandberg is directing from a screenplay by Henry Gayden and Darren Lemke. “Annabelle: Creation’s” Peter Safran will produce.
“Shazam!” will be the next DC Cinematic Universe movie to begin shooting, ahead of “Flashpoint,” the Joss Whedon-directed “Batgirl,” and the “Suicide Squad” sequel, which Gavin O’Connor just came aboard to helm. DC and Warner Bros. are also currently developing a standalone film about Black Adam, Shazam’s arch nemesis. Dwayne Johnson is attached to play Black Adam in that pic.