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Asher Angel lands child lead in Shazam!

Disney Channel actor Asher Angel has reportedly been tapped to star in Shazam! as the child version of the titular superhero.
Director David F. Sandberg previously revealed he was looking for two actors to bring the DC Comics character to life on the big screen, as the story follows a boy named Billy Batson who is able to transform himself into a fully-grown man with superhuman strength just by uttering the word “Shazam!”.
Tangled star Zachary Levi was recently announced as the adult superhero, also known in the franchise as Captain Marvel, while sources tell Variety.com Andi Mack actor Asher has now been picked to play Batson.
The casting news is in line with comments Sandberg made back in August (17), when he discussed the advances in computer-generated imagery to de-age characters like Kurt Russell’s Ego, the Living Planet in Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2, but admitted he doesn’t think it would work well enough for his upcoming movie.
“They’ve done quite well, I mean Kurt Russell in the latest Guardians was really well made, I thought, but I think there’s a limit to it as well,” he mused to Collider.com. “You probably can’t do (de-age) someone to be a kid. Why create that hassle for yourself?
“I wouldn’t want to do that,” he continued of his own plans for Shazam!. “That seems like way too much of a hassle. So I think it’s just kind of best to have a kid and an adult (share the role).”
The movie is quickly taking shape as Kingsman: The Secret Service star Mark Strong recently entered talks to play the villainous Doctor Sivana, a desperate scientist who turns to magic in a bid to save his family, while the project will reunite Sandberg with his Annabelle: Creation actress Grace Fulton, who will portray one of Batson’s friends.
Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson is also expected to feature as Shazam’s arch nemesis, Black Adam. The wrestler-turned-actor has been developing his own stand-alone film for the character for a few years, with fans expected to be introduced to Black Adam in Shazam!.
Production on Shazam! is due to begin in Toronto, Canada in February (18) ahead of a possible 2019 release.

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