The Shazam! movie lingered in development for years, dating back to the early 2000s, before seemingly stalling in 2013. However, the project catapulted back into the spotlight less than a year later with confirmation that Dwayne Johnson will star as Black Adam, plans that expanded to include a solo outing for the supervillain turned antihero.
In all the time, there’s been no word about who might play Shazam. However, Johnson, who’s involved with the film’s creative direction, as now revealed who he’d like to see in the role: The Man From U.N.C.L.E. star Armie Hammer.
“I’m gonna throw one name out here and I wanna see how the fans are gonna react to this,” Johnson told We Got This Covered. “A guy who I met, and after I met him I was like, ‘Man that guy’s such a cool guy, he’s a lot bigger than I thought he would be.’ And when I walked away I remember telling our producer, who I’ve worked with for a long time, Hiram Garcia, we both looked at each other and were like, ‘Possibly Shazam?’ I’m not even gonna tell you his name, I’m just gonna say Lone Ranger.”
Hammer played the Lone Ranger in the 2013 film adaptation. Persistent rumors have linked the actor to Warner Bros.’ Green Lantern Corps, due in 2020, although he’s shot down that speculation. Hammer was cast to play Batman in George Miller’s Justice League Mortal, which was shelved in 2009 before it could go into production.
Of course, Johnson made it clear that Hammer’s involvement is far from certainty. “I don’t know if he’s interested, and by the way, the studio doesn’t even know that we’ve been having these conversations,” he said. “I just remember meeting him and walking away going, ‘Man that guy would look great I bet as Shazam’ — and by the way he’s one of a handful [of names].”
Previously referred to as Captain Marvel, Shazam was introduced in 1940 by Bill Parker and C.C. Beck and debuted in Whiz Comics #2. by Speaking the magical word “Shazam,” young Billy Batson and is transformed into the adult superhero, who possesses the powers of flight, super-strength and super-speed.
Although there’s no release date for Black Adam, Shazam! is expected to arrive in April 2019.