Given that we’ve had multiple updates from DC, Warner Bros., and New Line about how the upcoming superhero film Shazam! is basically going to knit everyone in America a sweater made of smiles to make sure you know how family-friendly and light-hearted it’s gonna be, it’s a little surprising this news took so long to come out.
Filming has already wrapped on Shazam!, but Entertainment Weekly has only just reported the identity of the man playing the Wizard, the character who gives the 14-year-old boy Billy (Angel Asher) the powers that allow him to turn into the title hero: Djimon Hounsou, who now joins the small club of actors who have appeared in both the MCU and DCEU. (He played Korath The Pursuer in Guardians Of The Galaxy.) It was previously reported—and IMDB still lists—actor Ron Cephas Jones as having the role, but a scheduling conflict ended up preventing him from taking it.
Hounsou’s Wizard, for those not up on their fun-loving tributes to Golden Age-stye superheroes, is a 3,000-year-old Egyptian sorcerer who chooses Billy Batson to pass on his powers to in order to continue his mission of fighting evil. There’s no image of Hounsou in costume yet, but with Comic-Con on the horizon, it’s likely just a matter of days. Then he, too, can set about telling everyone within earshot how this is going to be nothing like the dark and gritty DCEU movies, and possibly also saying, “Shhhh!” whenever someone points out that Shazam’s original name was Captain Marvel, which just so happens to be the name of the upcoming Marvel film in which his Guardians character will make an appearance.