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Zachary Levi to star in DC's Shazam! movie

Chuck: Season 3

Story by Jack Foley

ZACHARY Levi has been lined up to play DC superhero Shazam!, Earth’s mightiest mortal.

In comic book form, Shazam! follows a boy named Billy Batson, who can transform into an adult superhero by uttering the magic word “Shazam!”

The name is an acronym of the ancient world gods and historical figures Solomon, Hercules, Atlas, Zeus, Achilles and Mercury, from which the character derives his heroic attributes once in adult form.

David F. Sandberg is directing the film, from a screenplay by Henry Gayden and Darren Lemke.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the film is being lined up as the next stand-alone entry into DC’s Cinematic Universe, ahead of Flashpoint, Joss Whedon’s Batgirl and the sequel to Suicide Squad, which recently attached director Gavin O’Connor.

Intriguingly, the film is being developed concurrently with a film focusing on Shazam villain Black Adam, which has lined up Dwayne Johnson to star.

However, no release date has yet been set for Shazam!, although New Line is eyeing a February 2018 start in Toronto.

Levi is no stranger to the superhero genre, as he can currently be seen in Marvel Studios’ Thor: Ragnarok as Fandral, one of Thor’s companions.

He also recently appeared in NBC’s Heroes Reborn. Prior to those roles, he was best known for NBC’s hit spy-comedy series Chuck, which ran from 2007-2012.

Director Sandberg made a splash with his 2016 debut feature Lights Out, before going onto helm horror hit Annabelle: Creation, the most recent instalment of The Conjuring universe, which has earned $303 million worldwide since opening in August, against a budget of just $15 million.