Shazam! has set its sights on Mark Strong to play the film’s villain; stalwart DC rogue Doctor Sivana. Up until this summer, little had been revealed about Shazam! since it was announced a few years back. That all changed in July when David F. Sandberg (Light Out) came aboard to direct the film. Since then, the filmmaker has regularly teased fans about the project, highlighting the fact that Shazam! will be more of a light-hearted affair. With the move scheduled to begin shooting in February 2018, casting updates have finally started rolling in.
It has now been confirmed that Zachary Levi will play Shazam in the eponymous film. The typically comedic actor is already training for Shazam! to gain the bulk he needs to play the superhero. As for who Levi’s character will face, that’s been a big question since it was revealed that Black Adam would no longer be serving as the big bad in Shazam! Now, however, it appears the the answer to that question has been revealed.
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The Wrap is reporting that Mark Strong (Kingsman: The Golden Circle) is being eyed to play the villainous Doctor Sivana in Shazam! No other details have been revealed at this time, though the actor certainly looks the part (see the image below).
Doctor Sivana is one of Shazam’s oldest foes. Predating Lex Luthor by 2 months, Sivana appeared in 1940’s Whiz Comics #2 as a genius scientist who quickly deduces that Shazam’s secret identity is the 10-year-old Billy Batson. Although Black Adam matches Shazam for powers and strength, Sivana has proven to be a dangerous foe given his gifted mind.
There’s also a strong change that Doctor Sivana in Shazam! will follow the New 52 take on the character. This more recent incarnation reads a bit like Mr. Freeze, getting drawn into villainy to save his family. The result is he gets sucked into the world of magic and is granted the power to see it after an accident involving Black Adam’s tomb. With his genius mind and the ability to see magic, Sivana could hunt down both Billy and the rest of the Marvel Family that’s rumored to appear in the film.
It’s also worth noting that this would be Strong’s second DC movie role. He previously played Hal Jordan’s frenemy Sinestro in Green Lantern. With the hero of that film being rebooted for 2020’s Green Lantern Corps, presumably a new version of Sinestro will be introduced at that time. If he does, it would be fascinating to see Strong’s Sivana join forces with the Yellow Lantern in a big screen version of the Injustice Society. In the meantime, Strong will be getting a second shot at DC supervillain success thanks to Shazam!
Source: The Wrap