For reasons that I cannot explain, Warner Bros. is moving forward with its decision to produce a Shazam! movie. Zachary Levi, a man who isn’t particularly known for his super heroic physique, is playing the titular Shazam, and now we know who has been cast as Billy Batson, the kid who becomes Shazam.
The Hollywood Reporter confirms that Disney Channel actor Asher Angel has been cast as Billy Batson. Shazam’s whole schtick is the stuff of a bygone era, when comics publishers tried to market themselves to young children with concepts that were genuinely for kids. Young Billy Batson is magically transformed into Shazam when he utters his magic phrase. It’s all quite twee when you think about it.
As generally dark and dour as DC and Warner Bros.’ movies have been thus far, this decision to lean in to the Billy/Shazam binary is an interesting one. Angel is also in the unique position of having to define Batson’s personality both for himself and for Levi, who’s essentially playing a grown-up, muscular version of Billy that happens to have superpowers.
This is going to be… interesting.