Despite the success of Wonder Woman, the DC Extended Universe has experienced a huge amount of uncertainty in recent months. But one of the franchise's most stable projects has been Shazam!, which is shaping up quite nicely under the direction of David F. Sandberg (Annabelle: Creation).
We've been particularly excited to learn who'll be responsible for bringing Billy Batson and his super-powered alter ego, Shazam, to life. While there have been a few rumors floating around, Warner Bros. has kept potential actor choices close to its chest. But that may not be the case for long.
Is Warner Bros. About To Find Its Shazam?
According to The Hashtag Show, sources close to the production revealed that #WWE superstar #JohnCena is one of Warner Bros.'s tentative frontrunners to play the musclebound superhero. The other is actor #JoshuaSasse (Galavant, No Tomorrow).
Before getting too excited, keep in mind that this is an unconfirmed rumor, so we should take it with a pinch of salt. On top of that, The Hashtag Show specified that Cena and Sasse are tentative frontrunners — which means that, even if the report is accurate, the names in #WarnerBros's list could change at any given moment.
Which Of These Actors Would Be Better For The Role?
Out of these two actors, personally I feel Sasse would be the best fit for the part. I know, I know, but put your pitchforks down for a second and hear me out. #JohnCena is a really likable actor, and just like his fellow wrestler (and future Black Adam), Dwayne Johnson, he's been noticeably improving his acting craft in recent years.
However, Sasse has two main qualities that would make him perfect for the role. First of all, Shazam has a childlike youthfulness and innocence to him. Sasse's personality makes him a great candidate for that (if you want proof, I'd highly suggest taking a look at Galavant). On top of that, the actor looks like he was taken straight out of a comic book panel. I mean, look at him:
Now, as to who is most likely to get it, that's a mystery right now. Cena has the advantage of name recognition, and he's about to become an even bigger name with next year's Transformers spinoff #Bumblebee. That will most likely make him a strong box office draw.
Now, there's also Sasse's relative obscurity, which may actually be its own advantage. Warner Bros. has cast mostly unknown actors for its superheroes, and they've had great success with the practice, especially with Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman. So, both actors have good chances of landing the part.
That's Shazam, But What About Billy Batson?
With two actors reportedly being eyed for the Big Cheese, you may be wondering what's happening with his child counterpart. Unfortunately, there's still no word on potential actors, but The Hashtag Show did release the casting description for the character:
"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."
Back in August, #DavidFSandberg confirmed Batson would be a kid. At the time I thought that meant someone younger than 10 years old –– as Billy has often been portrayed. With this, though, it looks like the film is going for a more mature, preteen version of the character.
On a side note, it's interesting to see Shazam being described as #CaptainMarvel. #DC officially changed the name of the character years ago due to copyright reasons related to Marvel's Captain Marvel. But that was probably just to simplify the information for potential actors coming in to read for the part.
I'm a huge fan of the character, so I can't wait to see the actors who'll be chosen for the roles. Fortunately for us, it doesn't look like it will be long before we have some official information. During an interview with Entertainment Tonight, Sandberg stated that casting announcements would be coming soon.
Do you think these choices for Shazam frontrunners are real? If so, who of these two would you like to see in the role? Let me know in the comments!