The Shazam cast has a new addition: It actor Jack Dylan Grazer, who made a big impression in the Stephen King horror adaptation as hypochondriac Eddie Kaspbrak. Grazer is set to play Freddy Freeman, the best friend of Billy Batson, a kid who has the power to transform into the superhero Shazam. In the comics, Freddy eventually became Shazam’s sidekick.
Now that Justice League has more or less bitten the dust, it’s time to move on to other DC-based films. Like Shazam, for instance. Annabelle: Creation and Lights Out director David F. Sandberg is helming the superhero flick which tells the tale of an ordinary kid named Billy Batson who is granted the magical ability to transform into a superhero named Shazam. Currently in pre-production, Shazam has just added a new member to its ever-growing cast: Jack Dylan Grazer, who stole many a scene in this year’s horror hit It. Deadline reports Glazer will take on the role of Freddy Freeman, the best friend of Billy Batson.
Freddy is the only person who knows Billy has superpowers, and in the comics, he eventually became Billy’s side-kick, Captain Marvel Jr. (Side note: Shazam’s original name was Captain Marvel, not be confused with Marvel’s Captain Marvel. Over time, the character’s name was changed to Shazam to avoid the Marvel/DC confusion).
Glazer joins a cast that includes Andi Mack‘s Asher Angel, playing Billy Batson, and Chuck actor Zachary Levi, playing Shazam. Go-to movie bad guy Mark Strong has been announced as in talks to play the film’s villain Doctor Thaddeus Sivana. Shazam will be yet another film in the tumultuous DCEU, which, after Justice League underperformed at the box office, finds itself at a crossroads. Justice League attempted to interject some humor into the proceedings, but much of it felt forced and was clearly added after Wonder Woman surprised everyone by proving a DCEU film could be fun. Shazam, in contrast, seems to be approaching things with a light touch from the beginning.
Back in 2014, New Line president Toby Emmerich told Entertainment Weekly that Shazam would “a tone unto itself,” adding: “It’s a DC comic, but it’s not a Justice League character, and it’s not a Marvel comic. The tone and the feeling of the movie will be different from the other range of comic book movies.” Emmerich also said Shazam “will have a sense of fun and a sense of humor. But the stakes have to be real.”
Shooting on Shazam is expected to begin next year, with a 2019 release date likely.