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We still have 11 months to go until Aquaman hits theaters, but the next DC Extended Universe story, Shazam!, is finally getting its cameras rolling. In the latter half of 2017, the World's Mightiest Mortal's movie made great strides forward, from David F. Sandberg being confirmed as director to the main cast being assembled. Now as January is wrapping up, Sandberg has revealed that Shazam! has officially begun filming, using the below picture to celebrate this occasion.
When it comes to filmmaking, it doesn't get more classic than holding up a clapperboard, though the digital display on the one in David F. Sandberg's Instagram post adds some modern flair. As you can see, Shazam! is called by its working title, Franklin. I would have gone with Josh given how Shazam! has been described as the superhero version of Big (thus would be named after Tom Hanks' character in the 1988 comedy), but Franklin works fine, too. Shazam! was previously reported to begin principal photography in early February, so it looks like that wasn't too far off the mark. Production is expected to last until early May, so it will be interesting to see how much Sandberg teases on what's happening behind the scenes on his social media platforms during that time. Let's also hope this means that our first look at Zachary Levi in the Shazam suit will arrive soon.
Along with the above picture, David F. Sandberg also recently posted a video showing off some of the state-of-the-art cameras he's using for Shazam!. I imagine these will especially come in handy for the sequences when Billy Baston transforms into Shazam.
Although a Shazam! movie in one form or another has been in development since the early 2000s, the DCEU version was announced as part of this franchise's initial slate of movies back in late 2014. Just like in the comics, the movie will see the adolescent Billy Batson gaining the ability to turn into a mighty adult superhero. Initially Shazam! was supposed to see Billy Batson battling Black Adam, one of his greatest enemies. However, last year it was announced that Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson would instead lead a Black Adam movie, so the Kahndaqian antagonist/anti-hero's conflict with Shazam will be saved for a later movie. Instead, the Big Red Cheese will take on his other greatest enemy, Doctor Sivana.
Shazam!'s main cast includes Zachary Levi as the eponymous hero, Asher Angel as Billy Batson, Mark Strong as Doctor Sivana, Grace Fulton as Mary Bromfeld, Jack Dylan Grazer as Freddy Freeman, Ian Chen as Eugene Choi, Jovan Armand as Pedro Peña and Faithe Herman as Darla Dudley. Ron Cephas Jones is also in negotiations to play the wizard (also named Shazam) who gives Billy his special abilities. Henry Gayden and Darren Lemke worked on the screenplay.