Shazam! Casts It Star Jack Dylan Grazer in Key Role

Shazam! just found Billy Batson a friend. Deadline reports It star Jack Dylan Grazer has joined the film as Freddy, “Batson’s best friend and the only person who knows the truth about Shazam.” Grazer will join Asher Angel, who is slated to play Billy Batson; Zachary Levi, who will appear as Batson’s alter ego Shazam; and Mark Strong, who is set to play the villainous Doctor Sivana.

Batson is the teenage alter ego of the adult superhero who, after speaking the wizard Shazam’s name, is granted the powers of the gods Solomon (wisdom), Hercules (strength), Atlas (stamina), Zeus (power), Achilles (courage) and Mercury (speed). He can transform back and forth from his teen body to an adult by uttering the wizard’s name, which also includes a bolt of lightning reigning down from the sky. Per the report, Freddy will be the only other person who knows that Shazam’s alter ego is actually his young friend.

RELATED: Shazam! Could Be Like Guardians of the Galaxy, Zachary Levi Says

In the comics, Billy has a friend named Freddy Freeman, who is also imbued with superpowers and joins the Marvel family. For a time, Freddy became Shazam! himself after Billy transferred his powers to his friend to save his life. He has also operated under the name Captain Marvel Jr.

In addition to It, Grazer’s past credits include Me, Myself & I, Tales of Halloween, Comedy Bang! Bang! and more.

Set to shoot from February through May in Toronto, Ontario, the DC Extended Universe film was originally intended to star Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson as longtime Shazam! foe Black Adam, until it was revealed the character would instead feature in his own solo film.

Directed by David F. Sandberg and written by Henry Gayden and Darren Lemk, Shazam! stars Zachary Levi as Shazam (formerly Captain Marvel), Asher Angel as Billy Batson and Mark Strong as the villain Doctor Sivana. Grace Fulton (Annabelle: Creation) has also been cast in an unknown role. The movie is scheduled to begin filming in February ahead of a April 5, 2019 release date.