Shazam! sequel in the works with original screenwriter

A Shazam! sequel is in development with original screenplay writer Henry Gayden.The movie, based on the DC Comics character of the same name, hit cinemas in the U.S. last Friday (05Apr19), with the story following Billy Batson (Asher Angel) as a teenag…

A Shazam! sequel is in development with original screenplay writer Henry Gayden.

The movie, based on the DC Comics character of the same name, hit cinemas in the U.S. last Friday (05Apr19), with the story following Billy Batson (Asher Angel) as a teenage boy who can transform into an adult superhero, as played by Zachary Levi.

Shazam! has received a largely positive response from critics, and grossed a worldwide total of over $159 million (£121 million) at the box office, with editors at The Wrap now reporting that a follow-up is coming.

Film insiders have told the publication that Gayden has been tapped to write the script, while David F. Sandberg is also expected to return as director, with Peter Safran serving as producer.

Gayden previously penned the screenplay for 2014’s Earth to Echo and was most recently attached to write the script for Last Human, an upcoming sci-fi flick to be directed by Phil Lord and Christopher Miller.

Little else is known about the sequel, though Levi has been busy with various projects in recent months, having landed the part of Benjamin in hit TV series The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, and the voice-acting part of Biff Tarkin in the TV show Star Wars: Detours.

However, the former Chuck actor indicated that he was confident that another Shazam! movie would be greenlit during an appearance on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert last Thursday, where he explained that he was determined to maintain the buff physique he had built for the role.

“I think I gained, like, 24 pounds (10 kilograms) in the first couple of months and I’ve stayed in the gym six days a week through all of it still, till this day. And I’m healthier and stronger than I’ve ever been and I’m so grateful for that,” the 38-year-old said. “I worked out today. I’m hoping for a sequel.”

Shazam! also features Mark Strong, Jack Dylan Grazer, and Djimon Hounsou, and is now showing in cinemas around the world.

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Zachary Levi felt claustrophobic first time he wore Shazam! costume

Zachary Levi felt a little claustrophobic the first time he wore his “very tight” Shazam! costume.The superhero film based on the DC Comics character, stars Asher Angel as Billy Batson, a teenage boy who can transform into an adult superhero, as pl…

Zachary Levi felt a little claustrophobic the first time he wore his “very tight” Shazam! costume.

The superhero film based on the DC Comics character, stars Asher Angel as Billy Batson, a teenage boy who can transform into an adult superhero, as played by the former Chuck actor.

For the gig, Zachary was required to wear a skin-tight red suit, and in an interview for SciFiNow magazine confessed that he found his ensemble highly restrictive at the beginning.

“The first time I put it on I started feeling the slightest bit of claustrophobia starting to set in and I was like, ‘Okay, okay, calm down, you’re going to have to get used to this, Zach, because you’re going to do this hopefully for quite some time,” he told the publication. “And so that immediately started to dissipate but yeah it can be a little restrictive for sure and certainly not the easiest thing to go to the bathroom in.”

Zachary went on to recall how at one point he even passed up on an opportunity to audition for Shazam! as he thought producers would be looking for a big-name celebrity. However, the star was invited back for another casting call and is now thrilled that he has been able to make his childhood dream a reality.

“On a kind of mental, emotional level I hope I never get used to it,” the 38-year-old said of wearing the Shazam! suit. “I hope I’m always looking at it going, ‘How cool is this? How cool that I have chosen to be this character and bring it to life.

“(Shazam!) speaks to the little boy or girl in all of us. That was running around at some point and saying some word we believed magically gave us superpowers or made us extra fast or we pretend that we can fly. We’ve all done it on some level, and this is that in movie form, it’s really fun!”

Shazam! which also features Mark Strong and Djimon Hounsou, is now showing in cinemas.

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Zachary Levi hopes Shazam will get to join the Justice League

Zachary Levi doesn’t want to be “greedy” but hopes Shazam will get a crack at joining the Justice League.The Chuck actor was unveiled as the newest member of the DC Comics universe in October 2017 when studio bosses announced that he would take on the …

Zachary Levi doesn’t want to be “greedy” but hopes Shazam will get a crack at joining the Justice League.

The Chuck actor was unveiled as the newest member of the DC Comics universe in October 2017 when studio bosses announced that he would take on the adult role in the movie Shazam!

Directed by David F. Sandberg, the plot centres on a troubled 14-year-old orphan named Billy Batson (Asher Angel), who can transform into the superhero, as played by Levi, simply by uttering the word “Shazam!”

Now, in a video interview for Digital Spy, Levi expressed how much he would like to see his character make a crossover into one of DC’s Justice League movies.

“I don’t want to get too greedy,” the 38-year-old, who is garnering plenty of positive buzz for his DC debut, commented. “First and foremost, I would love that we get to keep building this world, the Shazam! side of the DC universe.

“If beyond that, my bosses say, ‘Hey, what about going and popping into that person’s movie or they pop into your movie?’ or, God willing, they make another Justice League and Shazam gets to be in the Justice League, I want all of that.”

Other DC movies include box office smashes like 2017’s Justice League flick, as well as features like Aquaman, Wonder Woman, Suicide Squad, and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.

The newcomer also admitted he got some tips on navigating the superhero world, but not from his compatriots at DC.

“I’ve had some buddies who have also done this in the Marvel world as well,” he shared. “Through my observation of what they’ve all done, I’ve tried to assimilate, as best I can, the things that it looks like have worked for them, but I was just kind of trying to do my own thing.

“It is very different too. It’d be very difficult to be getting tips from Batman because it’s a much darker, different kind of thing.”

Also starring Mark Strong, Djimon Hounsou, and Grace Fulton, Shazam! begins to hit cinemas from 3 April (19).

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