Two more actors have been added to the cast of David F. Sandberg‘s DC Comics movie ‘Shazam!’. Jovan Armand and Ian Chen will play two possible foster brothers of the film’s main character, Billy Batson (Asher Angel). Jack Dylan Grazer was previously announced as playing Freddy Freeman, another young friend/possible foster brother of Billy’s, who, in the comics, later becomes a sidekick of sorts, Captain Marvel Jr.
In the film, Billy Batson gains the ability to transform into an adult superhero, Shazam, played by Zachary Levi. The characters that Armand and Chen play were originally introduced in the ‘Flashpoint’ storyline as part of a larger group called ‘S.H.A.Z.A.M.’, wherein each kid had one of the individual powers of ‘Shazam’ and can combine their powers to summon the adult hero Captain Thunder. They have since been integrated into the mainstream DC Universe.
Jovan Armand portrays Pedro Peña. Armand may be recognized for playing Troy on the sitcom ‘The Middle’ or from Nickelodeon’s ‘Bella and the Bulldogs’, on which he plays Ricky. He recently appeared in the film ‘Girl Flu.’ He has also been seen on ‘Hawaii Five-O’, ‘Parenthood’, ‘Dads’ and ‘Shameless’.
In ‘Flashpoint’, Pedro possessed the strength of Hercules. In the regular DC Universe, he shares Billy’s powers, but is even stronger.
11 year-old Ian Chen’s ‘Shazam!’ character is named Eugene Choi. Chen is best known for playing Evan on the sitcom ‘Fresh Off the Boat’, although he has also appeared on ‘Modern Family’, ‘Grey’s Anatomy’, ‘Dr. Ken’ and ‘The Family Guy’.
Eugene possessed the wisdom of Solomon in ‘Flashpoint’. In the regular DC Universe, he has the added power of technopathy, the ability to control technology with his mind.
After ‘Flashpoint’, Pedro, Eugene and a third new character, African-American girl Darla Dudley, who possessed super speed, were integrated into the New 52 as foster siblings to Billy, along with Freddy and Billy’s real sister Mary.
It’s unclear just how much the film will borrow from ‘Flashpoint’, the New 52 or other sources, but the use of Pedro and Eugene hint that they will at least serve as an inspiration.
Mark Strong is rumored to be playing the villain Doctor Thaddeus Sivana, while Grace Fulton has been cast in an undisclosed role. Henry Gayden and Darren Lemke provided the script.
Would you like to see these kids combine their powers to summon one adult superhero? Or should Billy be the only possessor of the power of ‘Shazam!’?
‘Shazam’ is due in theaters on April 5, 2019.