Warner Bros. has been in production on the highly-anticipated Shazam! since the end of January, but now we’re learning of three new cast members coming aboard as filming continues. A trio of new reports emerged over the weekend that revealed D.J. Cotrona, Adam Brody and Ross Butler have all been added to the cast, with all of these actors slated to play adult version of characters played by younger stars. In the comics, Billy Batson (Asher Angel) can share his newfound powers with others, which he uses to make some of his friends adults, similar to his transformation into Shazam! (Zachary Levi) by simply saying his name.
D.J. Cotrona is set to play the adult version of Pedro Pena, with the younger version portrayed by Jovan Armand. In the comics, when Pedro is transformed into his adult version by Shazam, he resembles a powerlifter who exhibits incredible strength. Adam Brody is playing the adult version of Freddy Freeman, with the younger version played by Jack Dylan Grazer. In the comics, Freeman transforms into a hero similar to Shazam, known as Shazam Jr., or Captain Marvel Jr. Ross Butler is playing the adult version of Eugene Choi, with the younger version portrayed by Ian Chen. Choi is given the ability to control and manipulate technology with his mind.
With these adult versions of previously-confirmed characters being cast, it should be just a matter of time before the rest of the adult versions of these young characters are announced. It remains to be seen who will play the adult versions of Grace Fulton’s Mary Bromfield and Faithe Herman’s Dara Dudley. Mary and Dara are part of a large foster family that Billy Batson and the aforementioned young characters belong to, which is lead by foster parents Victor and Rosa Vasquez, played by Cooper Andrews and Marta Milans. The cast also includes Mark Strong as the villainous Thaddeus Sivana and Ron Cephas Jones as The Wizard, who grants Billy Batson his power to transform into the Shazam! hero.
David F. Sandberg (Lights Out) is directing from a script by Henry Gayden (Earth to Echo) and Darren Lemke (Goosebumps), based on the Shazam!/Captain Marvel character created by C.C. Beck and Bill Parker, with Peter Safran producing. Earlier versions of this film were slated to feature Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson as the villainous Black Adam, but now that character will get his own stand alone movie. It’s possible that Black Adam may still make an appearance, with The Rock recently teasing a special introduction into the DC Extended Universe (DCEU), and taking into account the fact that Dwayne Johnson is actually serving as an executive producer, along with his Seven Bucks Productions partners Hiram Garcia and Dany Garcia.
What’s also interesting about this casting is that two of the three new cast members were previously slated to play DC Comics heroes in a now-legendary failed production, Justice League: Mortal. D.J. Cotrona had been set to play Superman, while Adam Brody was attached to play The Flash for director George Miller, but production was shut down due to the WGA writers strike and principal photography never happened. DC Films Hub broke the news of these new casting additions for Shazam! over the weekend.