Chuck star Zachary Levi is set to play the title character in Shazam!, the new big-screen comicbook adaptation from Warner Bros. and New Line.
Director of Lights Out and Annabelle: Creation, David F. Sandberg is on board to direct the film, with a working script coming from Henry Gayden and Darren Lemke. The story sees a young boy, Billy Batson, who turns into a grown superhero (with powers from Solomon, Hercules, Atlas, Zeus, Achilles, and Mercury) upon saying “Shazam!”
Dwayne Johnson has already been cast as Shazam villain, Black Adam, but instead of appearing in the Shazam! film, he will be launched in his own standalone movie.
Levi is not unfamiliar with the world of superheroes, having previously having a role in 2015’s Heroes: Reborn, and portraying Fandral (taking over from Once Upon A Time’s Josh Dallas) in Thor 2, as well as current release Thor: Ragnarok. However, Levi is most well-known for NBC‘s super spy series Chuck, where he played the titular character, Chuck Bartowski. Speaking to Entertaiment Weekly, the actor discussed his struggle with finding roles that differ from this memorable character:
“As with anyone, you play someone who becomes iconic and then everyone wants to keep hiring you for that character, and that’s been tough. I don’t want to turn down work, but I also don’t want to just keep playing the nerd every single time, because there’s more to me — at least I hope there’s more to me — than just that.”