Although the upcoming Shazam movie will borrow elements from numerous eras of the World's Mightiest Mortal's history, it's become clear with the castings that the New 52 era will especially be influential. When Billy Batson was reintroduced following the New 52 era, he was sent to live in a group home, which already included five kids. Four of those characters have already been cast for Shazam, and it looks like we may finally have the fifth with the addition of This is Us' Faithe Herman.
According to Comicbook.com, Faithe Herman will be joining the Shazam cast. Although her character wasn't identified, it's a good bet that she'll be playing Darla Dudley, the youngest member of the group home where Billy Batson lived in the New 52. However, Darla was first seen in the alternate Flashpoint timeline, where Billy, Darla and the other four children would say "Shazam!" and become Captain Thunder. Herman is best known for playing Annie Pearson on This is Us, and her previous movie credits include Bodied and the upcoming Doe.
In the New 52 Shazam origin story, Darla Dudley was especially eager to have Billy Batson join their family. But then Billy snapped back and told her that they weren't his real family, causing her to cry, though she forgave him the morning after. Later after Billy had become Shazam and was battling Black Adam, he temporarily shared his power with Darla and the other kids, turning them into Shazam-like heroes. As a result, Darla gained superhuman speed. Darla also briefly appeared appeared in the animated movie Justice League: War.
So far Shazam's main cast includes Zachary Levi as the eponymous hero, Asher Angel as Billy Batson, Grace Fulton as Mary Marvel, Jack Dylan Grazer as Freddy Freeman, Ian Chen as Eugene Choi and Jovan Armand as Pedro Peña. Earlier this week, it was also reported that The Walking Dead's Cooper Andrews will play the foster parent at the group home where Billy lives, suggesting that Billy, Mary, Freddy, Eugene, Pedro and Darla will remain a family in the DC Extended Universe rather than just simply be friends at the same school or something along those lines. Mark Strong is also in talks to play Shazam's main antagonist, Dr. Thaddeus Sivana. Originally the plan was for Shazam to fight Black Adam in this movie, but Dwayne Johnson's iteration of the Kahdaqian foe will instead appear in his own movie first, and it's also been rumored that he'll debut in Suicide Squad 2.
Shazam doesn't have an official release date yet, though director David F. Sandberg expects it will be ready to work its magic in theaters by April 2019. Keep checking in with CinemaBlend to learn how the Big Red Cheese's movie is coming along, and don't forget to browse through our DC movies guide to see what else the DCEU has in development.