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Shazam already has some notable names attached to star, but director David S. Sandberg has been teasing that there are still a lot of announcements still to come. The coming weeks will surely be filled with reports about new additions and casting information... and we have one such example for your today. It's being reported that young actors Ian Chen and Jovan Armand have signed on to the superhero film, set to play Eugene and Pedro, respectively.
Ian Chen is best known for playing the precocious Evan Huang on the hit ABC comedy Fresh Off The Boat, but according to Deadline will be making his big screen debut with the DC Comics feature. In Shazam, he will play a young friend of Billy Batson (Asher Angel), the two of them living together in a group home. Unbeknownst to most, Billy has the power to transform himself into an adult superhero (who has the appearance of a buff Zachary Levi). He uses his granted abilities to fight against the forces of evil, but simultaneously has to deal with the drawback of being a young kid with limited real world experience.
Also playing a member of the group home gang in Jovan Armand as Pedro. Like Ian Chen, his primary background is on television, starring on shows like Bella and the Bulldogs and The Middle, but he does have a handful of small features on his resume.
While Zachary Levi clearly has an important role to play in Shazam, it's noteworthy that the production seems to be making a priority of assembling its young cast first. In addition To Asher Angel, Ian Chen, and Jovan Armand, earlier this month we learned that the production has also cast IT star Jack Dylan Grazer as Freddy Freeman - Billy's best friend - and Annabelle: Creation actress Grace Fulton. Presumably it would be easier to cast the adult characters first, given that there is a wider selection of performers in the industry with accessible established work, but it's interesting that David S. Sandberg is making sure the film locks in its kid cast first.
After years of development, Shazam was officially announced at San Diego Comic-Con this past summer - though it's still going to be a minute before we get to see the finished feature. Set to use the bulk of 2018 for both production and post-production, Warner Bros. isn't planning on releasing the blockbuster until April 5, 2019. That's a long time to wait, but you can be sure we'll be keeping a close eye on the project's development as that release date gets closer and closer.