Few big-time actors have played the villain quite as often as Mark Strong, whose performances across Sherlock Holmes, Sharpe’s Mission and even Guy Ritchie’s RocknRolla have made him a bankable favorite amongst Hollywood studios in search of a scenery-chewing baddie. Which brings us to Shazam!
For in this one, Strong is on board to play Doctor Thaddeus Sivana, a crooked scientist driven mad by jealousy. You see, long before Billy Batson gained control of those abilities, Sivana believed he himself was worthy of Shazam’s god-like power, thereby seeding a great rivalry between the two titans.
Mind you, considering Billy Batson is really a young, wide-eyed kid deep down inside, Zachary Levi’s performance has been imbued with a child-like sense of wonder and curiosity, as can be seen in this newly-unveiled image from Empire Magazine. Embedded below, it sees Billy Batson confront Sivana as Shazam.
When the chips are down, though, and it’s Shazam versus Siavana… who wins? Truth is, we’re not quite sure, but when asked about the general tone and personality of Shazam!, DC figurehead Geoff Johns hinted that the movie itself harkens back to a time of fun and light-hearted blockbusters.
I keep saying [Shazam!] is like if Roald Dahl created superheroes. It’s inspired by Phantom Tollbooth and Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and Wizard of Oz and Alice in Wonderland and Harry Potter, like doing a real, fun, family-centered, emotional, magical character-driven story with these crazy characters that have no manual on what it is to be the Champions of Magic.
Couple this with Aquaman‘s recent success at the box office and it seems Warner Bros. may have finally gotten to grips with its superhero franchise – it only took five attempts. Next to face the music? Shazam! And it’ll be with us on April 5th.