Djimon Hounsou

Djimon Hounsou replaced Ron Cephas Jones as the wizard Shazam in the Warner Brothers movie of the same name.  Filming has wrapped, but Hounsou’s involvement was not revealed until now.  Jones had to depart ‘Shazam!’ due to scheduling conflicts, but it wasn’t revealed what other project demanded his presence, although he will appear in the upcoming movie ‘Dog Days’ and he stars on the series ‘This Is Us’ and ‘Luke Cage’, so any of those is a possibility.

As for Hounsou, he previously appeared in another DC Comics movie, ‘Constantine’, with Keanu Reeves.  Hounsou played Papa Midnight.  He also voiced Marvel’s ‘Black Panther’ in the limited animation series that was supposed to air on BET but was instead released on home video.  He portrayed Korath the Pursuer in ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’, and reprised that role in the upcoming Marvel movie ‘Captain Marvel’.  And of course, the lead character in ‘Shazam!’ was originally known as Captain Marvel, so that came full circle.

The wizard Shazam is responsible for granting teenage boy Billy Batson (played by Asher Angel in the film) the ability to turn into an adult superhero (Zachary Levi).  It’s not confirmed yet, but it is very likely that Shazam also granted powers to Billy’s foster siblings Mary, Freddy Freeman, Eugene Choi, Pedro Peña and Darla Dudley.  It is confirmed that Jack Dylan GrazerIan Chen, Jovan Armand and Faithe Herman are playing the juvenile versions of those characters, but several older actors were cast with their roles undisclosed.  They include Adam Brody, Ross Butler and DJ Catrona, who may be playing older super heroic versions of Freddy, Eugene and Pedro.  It was previously stated that Meagan Good (‘Star’) had been cast, as presumably an older version of Darla, but that now doesn’t seem to be the case.  Grace Fulton is reportedly playing Mary Bromfeld, who in the comics, is Billy’s long lost twin sister, but Fulton is an adult, while Angel is a young teen, so it’s more likely that she is playing the adult Mary Marvel.

The cast also includes Mark Strong as the villain Dr. Sivana and Cooper Andrews and Marta Milans as the kids’ foster parents Victor and Rosa Vasquez.  ‘Shazam’ was directed by David F. Sandberg and is due in theaters on April 5, 2019, roughly a month after Hounsou’s other superhero movie ‘Captain Marvel’, which hits on March 8.

Source: Entertainment Weekly