Mark Strong in Talks for Shazam Villain Role

TheWrap reports that Mark Strong (Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, Sherlock Holmes) is in talks to play the villain of the upcoming Shazam! movie, none other than Doctor Sivana. The evil scientist first appeared in Whiz Comics #2 in 1940 as the main villain of the hero (then known as Captain Marvel), and has gone on to become one of his greast adversaries.

Strong is no stranger to comic book roles, having appeared in both the Kingsman films and as Sinestro in 2011’s Green Lantern movie. He joins Zachary Levi (Thor films, ChuckTangled) who will play the titular hero in the film. Variety also reports that actress Grace Fulton (Annabelle: Creation) is in talks to play one of Billy Batson’s friends in the film.

Created in 1939 by artist C. C. Beck and writer Bill Parker, Shazam first appeared in Fawcett Comics’ Whiz Comics #2. By saying the world “Shazam,” teenager Billy Batson was transformed into the “world’s mightiest mortal” and given extraordinary abilities by ancient gods. It has not been revealed who will play Billy yet.

David F. Sandberg is directing for New Line Cinema. He recently confirmed that the target release date for the film is April 2019. The Lights Out and Annabelle: Creation director will step behind the camera with Peter Safran producing. Henry Gayden and Darren Lemke wrote the script for Shazam!, which is scheduled to shoot in Vancouver next year.

Dwayne Johnson will not appear as the villain Black Adam in the film and is developing a solo film for the anti-hero as a separate project.

(Photo credit: Getty Images)