After decades of appearing in the comics, animated projects, video games and even a live action TV series, Shazam, previously-known as Captain Marvel, will finally make the jump to the big screen in the near future. The Shazam movie will be the next DC films universe entry after Aquaman, and last week, it was announced that Chuck star Zachary Levi will play the World's Mightiest Mortal. Now word is in that Kingsman star Mark Strong is being eyed to play the movie's main villain, Doctor Thaddeus Sivana.
According to The Wrap, Mark Strong is in talks with Warner Bros to jump aboard Shazam as Doctor Sivana, Shazam's oldest enemy. If a deal is reached, Strong would be the second actor to board the project. Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson has already been cast as Black Adam, but rather than being Shazam's main antagonist as originally intended, the Kahndaqian powerhouse will instead be introduced in his own movie, saving his conflict with Shazam for a later date.
Assuming Mark Strong does end up joining Shazam, this won't be his first foray into the DC Comics universe. He previously appeared in 2011's Green Lantern, and while that movie was primarily met with negative reception, Strong's portrayal of Sinestro is considered by many to be one of its highlights. Mark Strong's other credits include the Kingsman movies, Stardust, Sherlock Holmes, Kick-Ass, John Carter, Zero Dark Thirty, The Imitation Game and The Brothers Grimsby.
Doctor Thaddeus Sivana has been around for as long as Shazam/Captain Marvel has, debuting in 1940's Whiz Comics #2. Unlike Shazam, who has numerous special powers, Sivana's formidability comes from his mind, as he uses his genius intellect to create weapons and gadgets to antagonize the World's Mightiest Mortal. However, in the rebooted New 52 universe, Sivana gained the ability to see magic after his right eye was hit by magical lightning. With Black Adam off the table, Doctor Sivana is the next best choice to serve as Shazam's main villain, and as you can see from the Mark Strong photo above, his physical appearance could match the character's pretty closely, albeit looking less weak. Outside of the comics, Sivana has appeared in Batman: The Brave and the Bold and Justice League: Gods and Monsters, although the latter featured an alternate universe version of the mad scientist.
No plot details for Shazam have been revealed yet, other than that it's expected to tell the origin story of Billy Batson and how he gained his magical abilities derived from the mythological figures Solomon, Hercules, Atlas, Zeus, Achilles and Mercury. Lights Out director David F. Sandberg will helm the feature, while Henry Gayden is penning the screenplay.