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After much teasing, we've finally gotten our first look at Zachery Levi as the superhero Shazam. However, we've heard very little about the flip side of the character. Shazam is actually a teenage boy named Billy Batson who's been given the power to become a superhero. Asher Angel will be playing the role of the kid version of the hero and recently he spoke about the sort of character that Billy is. According to Angel...
He's misunderstood, he's mischievous, he's been a foster kid since he was 5 years old and really has no one to trust.
Shazam! will open with Billy Batson being placed in a new foster home, according to Entertainment Weekly, and based on Asher Angel's comments, it doesn't sound like he doesn't take to it instantly. The kid, understandably, has trust issues if he's been moving between foster homes for the better part of a decade. Clearly, Billy will have difficulty adjusting to his new home, which, in addition to himself and his foster parents, also includes several other foster kids.
Being a mischievous kid who gets transformed into a superhero doesn't really seem like a recipe for success as a hero. Luckily, Billy Batson will have some help. Billy will make at least one friend in his new foster home, Freddy Freeman, played by IT's Dylan Grazer. It seems that Freeman is a big superhero fan, and will use his knowledge of heroes to act as a sort of mentor when Billy finds himself becoming one. According to Grazer...
Freddy's a fanbody when it comes to Batman, Superman, the Justice League, so he becomes Billy's mentor and sansei when it comes to being a superhero.
Of course, the one difference between liking superheroes in Shazam! versus liking them in real life, is that they really exist in the world of the movie. Being a superhero fan in Shazam! is likely more akin to being a sports fan, as you're following the performance of real of people. However, since Freddy knows heroes so well, he knows how they're supposed to act, and he apparently helps Billy figure out how to be a hero now that he is one.
By virtue of the setup, it certainly seems that Shazam! is looking to be a much lighter movie than previous entries in the DC universe. The idea of a kid in the body of an adult superhero is an inherently humorous idea, and the fact that Zachary Levi was cast as the hero would certainly indicate that the film is going to lean into that.
With San Diego Comic-Con getting started, it's a safe bet that we'll get our first real look at Shazam! before the weekend is out.