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Shazam, a.k.a. the original Captain Marvel, may not be at Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman's level of recognizability, but he's been an important superhero for decades. Now after numerous comics, animated and video games appearances, as well as starring in his own live action TV series, the World's Mightiest Mortal is gearing up to make his theatrical debut. Shazam will be the DC movie to follow Aquaman, with production kicking off early next year. However, many Shazam details are still being kept under wraps, and one of the big questions on our minds is who will fill out the supporting cast.
So far only two characters from the Shazam mythos have been cast for the DC films universe: Zachary Levi will play the Big Red Cheese, and Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson will play Black Adam, arguably Shazam's most notorious enemy. But because Black Adam is now going to debut in his own movie, that leaves Shazam himself as the only confirmed participant in the 2019 blockbuster. With that in mind, we've gathered together the characters who need to be included in the movie for this to be a proper big screen Shazam story.
If you're going to tell Billy Batson's origin story, you can't do it without the Wizard, who is also known as Shazam (though in the New 52, his true name is Mamargan). Millenia ago, the Wizard used his mighty abilities to defend humanity, but eventually it came time to pass his powers to another. The first time he tried to do this, it didn't go well, and it resulted in the rise of Black Adam. No doubt we'll see that unfold in the Black Adam movie. In the present day, the Wizard selected Billy as his new successor, having the young boy brought to his lair, the Rock of Eternity. Thankfully, this time around the ancient being chose wisely, and Billy became a proper superhero. Usually after mystically empowering Billy, the Wizard either passes away or is killed, though he has occasionally aided the World's Mightiest Mortal from beyond the grave. So even if he bites the dust on the big screen, he could remain a integral character later in the movie and even a sequel.
As mentioned earlier, Black Adam was originally intended to be the Shazam movie's main villain, but now that position is vacant. Shazam has a decently-sized rogues gallery in the comics, but most of that lineup is either incredibly dated or wouldn't work well in a cinematic setting. That leaves Doctor Thaddeus Sivana as the best candidate for the new villain. Unlike Black Adam, who is Shazam's physical equal (if not more so), Doctor Sivana antagonizes Shazam with his genius-level intellect, creating weapons and gadgets to use against the Big Red Cheese. The New 52 version of Sivana was also able to see magic after his right eye was struck by magical lightning. Rather than be a corrupted foil to Shazam like Black Adam is, Sivana works well as an antagonist because he's the polar opposite of his nemesis, making him an excellent choice for the lead baddie. Fortunately, it looks like that's the direction the production is heading, as Mark Strong is in talks to play Sivana.
Like Billy Batson, Mary Marvel is imbued with the power of Shazam, and like Freddy Freeman, a.k.a. Captain Marvel Jr. (a character whole should be saved for a Shazam sequel), she's been one of Billy's frequent allies since his earliest comic book appearances. In the original Captain Marvel stories, Mary was Billy's long-lost biological sister, while in the New 52 continuity, Mary is the oldest of Billy's foster siblings, all of whom are temporarily turned into Shazam-like heroes when he was fighting Black Adam. Regardless of how Shazam decides to connect Billy and Mary together, it's important for her to have some kind of role in the movie, as she's been an important figure in his life for decades and it would be unwise for the DC films franchise to ignore their bond. That being said, it would be best if Mary's superhero debut is saved for the Shazam sequel so as not to overshadow Billy's first outing.
C.C. And Marilyn Batson
Like Batman, Billy Batson is an orphan In the classic Shazam mythology, his parent, C.C. and Marilyn Batson, were killed on an archaeological dig by their colleague Theo Adam, who would later become the vessel through which Black Adam would return. Just like how Thomas and Martha Wayne's murder led to Bruce Wayne becoming Batman, Billy's parents need to be long gone by the time he becomes Shazam, as their absence is what shapes the boy and sets him on his heroic path. Still, that doesn't mean there shouldn't be flashbacks in Shazam showing what led to C.C. and Marilyn's demise, and since Doctor Sivana was Theo Adam's employer in the comics, perhaps he could be the one who either orders them killed or does the deed himself in the movie.
You have to remember that Shazam/Captain Marvel's heyday was in the Golden Age of Comics, when goofier ideas were running rampant. This includes Tawky Tawny, a humanoid tiger who wears suits and is well-spoken. Rest assured, we're not suggesting that the Shazam movie include that version of the character. The only way he could effectively be pulled off is if Shazam was an animated movie geared primarily to kids. No, in this case, we want Shazam to take a page from Flashpoint and The New 52, where Tawny is a regular tiger who becomes empowered by Shazam's magic, making him a ferocious ally. For those wondering how even a regular tiger could fit seamlessly into the story, in Billy Batson's New 52 origin tale, Tawny is a tiger at the zoo which Billy and his parents used to visit, so there's no reason the same approach couldn't be taken in this continuity. But again, he shouldn't be able to talk, even when magic is coursing through him.