Shazam! is getting ready to burst into the big screen and introduce audiences to its insane world. After months of speculation, Warner Bros. announced that Zachary Levi had been cast as the film's titular hero. It was exciting to finally have a face attached to the godly do-gooder, but we were left to wonder who would be responsible for playing Billy Batson, Shazam's human side.
In the comic books, Batson is just as relevant as his godly counterpart, so fans have been crossing their fingers for Warner Bros. and New Line Cinema to pick an actor capable of carrying the part. Fortunately, the studios didn't disappoint us.
Everyone, Meet The DCEU's New Billy Batson
According to The Hollywood Reporter, #AsherAngel of Andi Mack fame has been cast as Billy Batson in Shazam! Director David F. Sandberg also took to Instagram to confirm the news with a picture of Zachary Levi, poking fun at Shazam's duality:
Casting for comic book movies isn't easy, but WB knocked it out of the park with Angel. He looks the part, and he definitely looks like someone who'd grow up to be #ZacharyLevi as an adult.
The genius in Angel's casting isn't just because of his physical appearance, though. He may not have a long list of credits on his resume, but the work he's done on Disney's Andi Mack has been something else. He can be vulnerable yet funny, and he has a strong sense of charisma that will give him an edge when he needs to carry the film not as an all-powerful hero, but as a kid with normal problems and struggles.
During an interview with Collider, Sandberg revealed that he wanted to capture the magic and wish-fulfillment of a kid living with Shazam's crazy powers:
"The big attraction for me with that character is the fact that every kid dreams of being Superman, right? I mean, I certainly did, and Billy Batson is a kid that gets that chance."
Going by what I've seen from #AsherAngel's work, I'm sure he'll be able to pull off that approach. Now, Billy Batson won't go on his crazy adventures alone. In early November, it was revealed that Grace Fulton (Annabelle: Creation) was in talks to play a friend of Batson's, and veteran actor Mark Strong in talks to play the villain, Dr. Sivana. Furthermore, leaked casting tapes revealed that our young hero would have his loyal companion, Freddy Freeman, helping him to understand his powers.
Shazam! will fly into theaters in April, 2019.
What do you think about Asher Angel being Billy Batson in Shazam!? Are you happy with the casting so far? Let me know in the comments!