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Shazam! to star Thor: Ragnarok’s Zachary Levi

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DCU’s next project seeking 2018 premiere date

Shazam DC Comics

Shazam!’s lead has been cast, and it’s Zachary Levi, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Levi has another big role coming up next week as Fandral the Dashing in Thor: Ragnarok. THR notes that no premiere date has been set yet but New Line hopes to have the superhero feature on screens in 2018.

David F. Sandberg, whose first feature, Lights Out, launched in 2016, is directing for New Line. Shazam! is an adaptation of the nearly 80-year-old continuity of Earth’s Mightiest Mortal. He debuted in 1940 as Captain Marvel, headlining Fawcett Comics’ Whiz Comics.

The Captain Marvel line closed in the 1950s as his popularity declined and Fawcett settled a copyright infringement claim brought by what is today DC Comics. DC ended up licensing Captain Marvel back from Fawcett in the 1970s, but by then Marvel had its own Captain Marvel character, forcing DC to use the alternate name Shazam.

Shazam! is the power word Billy Batson says to transform into the demigod-like superhero, who derives his strength and other attributes from six figures spread across mythology and antiquity. His nemesis, Black Adam, will get a stand-alone movie sometime later; Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is said to be starring in that role.