Zachary Levi to Play Titular Superhero in DC’s ‘Shazam!’

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Billy Baston is set to save the world with a little help from “Chuck” star Zachary Levi. The actor is set to play the child-turned-superhero in the upcoming DC comic book adaptation “Shazam!”, according to THR. David F. Sandberg (“Annabelle: Creation”) has been tapped by New Line Cinema to direct off the screenplay from Henry Gayden (“Earth to Echo”) and Darren Lemke (“Jack the Giant Slayer”). “Annabelle: Creation” and “Aquaman’s” Peter Safran will produce. THR reported back in July that “Shazam!” will be the next DC flick in production, ahead of Joss Whedon’s “Batgirl”, “Flashpoint” and Gavin O’Connor’s “Suicide Squad” sequel.

Shazam, aka Billy Baston, is a young boy who can transform into Earth’s mightiest mortal when he utters his magical name. The word is an acronym for the names of Greek gods and biblical heroes Solomon, Hercules, Atlas, Zeus, Achilles and Mercury, all of whose powers are transferred to the adult Baston when he morphs into the superhero.

Though Levi is best known for his comedic work in the TV spy comedy “Chuck” and Disney’s “Tangled,” Shazam won’t be the first superhero he portrays. Levi was featured in Thor: The Dark World “ playing Asgardian warrior Fandral, and returned to the role in “Thor: Ragnarok.” He took over the role from Josh Dallas (“Once Upon A Time”) due to Dallas’ scheduling conflicts with his hit TV series. Levi will be one of few actors to portray both a DC and a Marvel hero.

Levi took to Instagram to share his excitement about the upcoming solo film, saying:

Honored and greatly humbled to be a part of the #dcuniverse by bringing the original Captain Marvel to life. I am beside myself with gratitude, not only for this opportunity, but also the incredible outpouring of love and support from so many of you out there in the world. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ll be in the gym for the rest of forever. ? (amazingly cool art courtesy of @bosslogic#Shazam

The boy-turned-superhero will not be the only “Shazam!” character to hit the silver screen. Dwayne The Rock Johnson (“Moana”) was previously announced as New Line’s pick to portray Black Adam, an arch nemesis of Shazam, and has been waiting in the wings since 2014. Johnson revealed to Collider that Shazam and Black Adam will each have solo films, with plans to meet in an epic battle later on.

New Line is planning to start principal photography on “Shazam” Feb. 2018, according to THR. No exact premiere date has been announced.

What do you think of Levi portraying Shazam? Who else would you like to see in the upcoming film? Let us know in the comments below!