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Shazam! may have started out as a solo superhero origin story, but turns out it introduces the Shazam family to the big screen when Billy Batson shared his powers with his newfound foster family. Former O.C star, Adam Brody suited up as an adult-sized, super-powered Freddy Freeman among Meagan Good’s Darla, Michelle Borth’s Mary, Ross Butler’s Eugene and D.J. Cotrona’s Pedro. Because his role was meant to be a surprise, the audition process was a confusing one. Here’s what Adam Brody says:
I knew I was auditioning for a superhero version of a kid, but I didn’t know which one or who was playing him. In fact, they made some phony sides that had nothing to do with the movie. I kind of liked the scene I auditioned with; it seemed to be a Cable Guy-esque sort of scene. If I remember correctly, some referee or ball boy gets to join the game and bark orders at all the players. It was very goofy; even goofier than Shazam!. I actually quite enjoyed it, but yeah, I had no idea it was for Freddy.
This type of story from actors signing on to superhero adaptations is becoming more and more the norm. Since the genre produces the most popular movies in the world, the filmmakers often need to keep details of the film close to their vest, often leaving them in the dark about their own roles. Per Adam Brody’s words to THR, it sounds like he had a blast in his audition channeling Jim Carrey’s Cable Guy but had no idea how vital the role was to Shazam!.
Adam Brody’s Freddy Freeman becomes the closest to Billy Batson in Shazam! and as a disabled comic book aficionado, it’s a huge and heartwarming moment when he becomes a superhero. Director David Sandberg has shown interest in exploring more of the Shazam family in a sequel, so we might see a lot more of Adam Brody’s Freddy. The role allowed the actor to finally become a DC hero on the big screen after being previously cast as Flash in George Miller’s scrapped Justice League: Mortal.
Oddly enough, D.J. Cotrona was also in the Justice League: Mortal cast as Superman in 2007 but the writer’s strike and tax credit issues unfortunately worked against the production. Adam Brody recently opened up about the superhero role that got away, expressing how solid the script was. The actor also said he thought it would have been a “classic” especially after seeing George Miller’s critically-acclaimed Mad Max: Fury Road in 2015.
Adam Brody currently stars in horror film Ready or Not with Samara Weaving. Ready or Not has gained tons of positive buzz since its release – CinemaBlend gave it a perfect 5 stars in our review. The movie follows a twisted family tradition where the bride is hunted by her in-laws on her wedding night in a version of hide and seek.
Shazam! is available to own on Digital and Blu-Ray and Ready or Not is in theaters now.