Last week we learned that ‘Shazam!’ director David F. Sandberg (‘Annabelle: Creation’) planned to cast a juvenile actor as Billy Batson and an adult as his heroic adult alter ego, Shazam.  The film is due to begin filming next year to be released on April 5, 2019.  With a script by Henry Gayden in place, it looks like the next step in the process is casting.

John Cena
DFree /

At one point, box office super star Dwayne Johnson was supposed to appear as villain Black Adam, but then it was determined that he would instead star in his own movie.  Could WB now be eyeing another pro wrestler-turned-actor?  Possibly!

It appears that WB is eyeing two actors to play the adult superhero, Shazam.  (Maybe.  More on that later.)  And one of them happens to be John Cena, who broke through in the raunchy romantic comedy ‘Trainwreck’ before popping up in additional comedies ‘Daddy’s Home’ and ‘Sisters’.  He also branched out into drama in the Doug Liman war film ‘The Wall’ and is currently filming the ‘Transformers’ spin-off ‘Bumblebee’ which is due out next Christmas.

Kathy Hutchins /

Reportedly, the other name under consideration is television actor Joshua Sasse.  Sasse was last seen on the short-lived sitcom ‘No Tomorrow’.  Before that, he starred on the musical ‘Galavant’, crime drama ‘Rogue’ and another sitcom ‘Neighbors’.  In film, he starred in the movie ‘Frankenstein’s Army’.

At this point, it’s hard to say which could have the leg up.  Warner Brothers doesn’t seem to have a firm set of rules when it comes to casting.  On the one hand, there’s Ben Affleck, a veritable household name and Academy Award winner.  On the other, there’s Henry Cavill, Gal Gadot and Jason Momoa, who are recognizable from other projects, but nowhere near the same fame level as Affleck.  So it could make sense to replace Johnson with Cena, but at the same time, there is a chance that the lesser-known Sasse could work as well.

While it seems that Warner Brothers has its eye on options to play Shazam, they don’t seem to have a set actor to play juvenile alter ego Billy Batson.  In case you were wondering about how old Billy would be in the film, this casting notice spills the beans and it’s pretty much in keeping with the usual depictions, although those do fluctuate at times.

Male, 12-15 years old. A teenager who becomes Captain Marvel, the world’s mightiest mortal. Granted access to incredible powers by the wizard Shazam, he speaks the wizard’s name and is struck by a lightning bolt that gives him the powers of the gods.

Not only that, but here is the film’s working synopsis:

Based on the DC Comics character “Shazam!” Billy Batson becomes Captain Marvel, the world’s mightiest mortal, when he says the magic word “Shazam! The name is an acronym for six gods and heroes of the ancient world as well as their attributes. The wisdom of Solomon, strength of Hercules, stamina of Atlas, power of Zeus, courage of Achilles and speed of Mercury.

One thing that might be out-of-date is the alias Captain Marvel.  Marvel Studios has their own ‘Captain Marvel’ movie coming out about a month before ‘Shazam!’, on March 8, 2019.  Since the 1970s, DC has marketed everything with their Captain Marvel as ‘Shazam!’ to the point that many lay persons think that is the character’s name.  In 2012, DC simply changed his name in order to avoid confusion.

Reportedly, ‘Shazam!’ will have a lighter tone than previous DC movies.

What do you think of these casting choices?  Who would you like to see portray Shazam or Billy Batson?  Which villain would you like to see in this film?

Source: The Hashtag Show