In a bit of movie magic, Djimon Hounsou has been revealed as the ancient Wizard of DC’s SHAZAM film long after production has concluded. EW reports that Hounsou’s casting was kept under wraps amid rumors that ‘This Is Us’ star Ron Cephas Jones would be taking on the role. Hounsou is pulling off the rare Marvel-DC switcheroo, having already appeared in James Gunn‘s GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY as Korath the Pursuer, a role the actor is still slated to reprise in next year’s CAPTAIN MARVEL. (Which, yes, was the original name for Shazam when the character debuted in 1940. Comic books are weird, man.) But the 54-year-old isn’t exactly a stranger to the DC Universe; diehards and Keanu stans may remember 2005’s CONSTANTINE, a less-than-stellar adaptation of the John Constantine comics that saw Hounsou take on the role of Papa Midnite.
SHAZAM is a much more promising DC project, even if it does exist in the oft-mocked Warner Bros. world of the DCEU, home of gems like BATMAN V SUPERMAN and JUSTICE LEAGUE. Directed by David F. Sandberg, the film stars Zachary Levi as Shazam, a 14-year-old imbued with the powers of a god (Asher Angel will be taking on the actual 14-year-old Billy Batson part of that equation). Hounsou’s character—who first popped up in the pages of All Star Comics in 1947—is a 3000-year-old mystic who grants Billy his powers.
SHAZAM is set to hit theaters April 5, 2019. Here’s the full synopsis:
We all have a superhero inside us, it just takes a bit of magic to bring it out. In Billy Batson’s (Angel) case, by shouting out one word—SHAZAM!—this streetwise 14-year-old foster kid can turn into the adult Super Hero Shazam (Levi), courtesy of an ancient wizard. Still a kid at heart—inside a ripped, godlike body—Shazam revels in this adult version of himself by doing what any teen would do with superpowers: have fun with them! Can he fly? Does he have X-ray vision? Can he shoot lightning out of his hands? Can he skip his social studies test? Shazam sets out to test the limits of his abilities with the joyful recklessness of a child. But he’ll need to master these powers quickly in order to fight the deadly forces of evil controlled by Dr. Thaddeus Sivana (Strong).