‘It’ star Jack Dylan Grazer has joined Warner Brothers’ DC Comics film ‘Shazam!’ in the role of Freddy, Billy Batson’s best friend and the only other person who knows that he is secretly the adult hero Shazam. The film, directed by David F. Sandberg, is expected to begin production in early 2018, for a release on April 5, 2019. Grazer joins cast members Asher Angel, who plays Billy and Zachary Levi, who plays his adult, superhuman alter ego. Also said to be included are Mark Strong as villain Doctor Thaddeus Sivana and Grace Fulton whose role is unknown at this time.
Of course, the name Freddy is a dead giveaway to fans. Grazer is no-doubt playing none other than Freddy Freeman, a handicapped newsboy who himself gains superpowers to become Captain Marvel Jr. Whereas Billy would cry out the name “Shazam!” to transform, Freddy would exclaim”Captain Marvel!” making him the only superhero would could never say his own name. Also, while Billy’s heroic identity was a full-grown adult, Freddy’s was a teenager. (The same is true of Billy’s sister Mary who became a teenage Mary Marvel.)
According to legend, Captain Marvel Jr. was Elvis Presley’s favorite superhero and his later high-collared jumpsuits were based in Freddy’s costume. Painter Alex Ross depicted an adult Freddy as King Marvel in the comic series ‘Kingdom Come’ and his version was drawn to resemble the King of Rock & Roll.
Presumably, Captain Marvel Jr. won’t make an appearance in the first ‘Shazam!’, but this opens the door for appearances in sequels.
Grazer portrayed hypochondriac Eddie Kaspbrak in the massive horror smash ‘It’ this fall and co-starred on the CBS sitcom ‘Me, Myself & I’ with Bobby Moynihan and John Larroquette, but that was recently cancelled. He will next appear in the film ‘Beautiful Boy’ about the effects of meth addiction which stars Steve Carrell and Timothée Chalamet. (Grazer plays a younger version of Chalamet’s character.) It’s unclear at this time whether the young cast of ‘It’ will appear in the sequel, but it isn’t likely as that film will most likely focus on the same characters as adults.
Grazer’s experience in a horror film should work well with Sandberg and the cast. Sandberg directed the hits ‘Annabelle: Creation’, in which Fulton starred, and ‘Get Out’.
What do you think of Freddy Freeman appearing in ‘Shazam!’? Is Grazer a good fit? Would you like to see Captain Marvel Jr. soaring in live action in an upcoming film?