As of right now, the DC Extended Universe is two films in with Man of Steel and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice along with its next entry, Suicide Squad on the way this August. Following our rendezvous with Task Force X, a Wonder Woman film will grace the silver screen after decades of anticipation. With those two films’ productions wrapped along with Justice League currently undergoing principal photography, many fans are left in both excitement and speculation to see what’s in store for the DCEU. One of the most anticipated films in DC’s slate is Shazam, which already has Dwayne Johnson tapped to play the main antagonist, Black Adam. The film is currently set for an April 5, 2019 release.
The last update we reported on in regards to the Shazam film can be found in Heroic Insider #5 during the Heroic Scoop Drop in which our EIC Umberto Gonzalez reported that Warner Bros. and DC Films are waiting for a draft and upon delivery of it, will go after directors. Although as of right now, no other actors have been cast in the film, including the titular role, I would like to present a few potential candidates that I can see playing the role of Shazam’s secret identity, Billy Batson.
The casting of Billy Batson is just as integral to the film’s success as the casting of his heroic alter-ego. This could be DC’s opportunity to find a great young performer that can epitomize Billy’s childlike spirit. Marvel and Sony had a tall order when casting their brand new Peter Parker/Spider-Man, and thankfully Tom Holland swung into audiences’ hearts adding youthfulness to the MCU.
In terms of young actors, DC has Ezra Miller and Ray Fisher portraying Barry Allen/The Flash and Vic Stone/Cyborg respectively, whom are set to encapsulate the sheer *fun* of the Justice League. Any of these 13 actors that I propose for Billy Batson would only add more youthful energy to the DCEU – thus, helping the universe settle itself into the groove that it is trying to find.
1. Jacob Tremblay
After his incredible breakthrough performance in Room alongside Captain Marvel frontrunner Brie Larson, Jacob Tremblay has captured the hearts of audiences with his charm. Even with that film’s dark subject matter, Tremblay exuded both a sense of maturity and innocence all in one. He will next be seen in the horror film, Before I Wake, and Colin Trevorrow’s next film, The Book of Henry.
2. Ty Simpkins
Many fans recognize Ty Simpkins from his roles in both Iron Man 3 and Jurassic World. He proved that he can hold his own alongside big stars like Robert Downey Jr. and Chris Pratt and with that also comes plenty of blockbuster experience on his résumé. He also worked with Aquaman director James Wan on the first two Insidious films. Perhaps Wan may recommend Simpkins to the Shazam casting directors.
3. Chandler Riggs
Chandler Riggs is most recognized for his role in The Walking Dead as Carl Grimes. Having been actively involved with the popular horror series, Riggs has had opportunities to handle a multitude of emotions as his character experiences his coming-of-age during a zombie apocalypse. Riggs has also reportedly auditioned for Spider-Man and young Han Solo and will be seen again in the upcoming seventh season of The Walking Dead.
4. Max Charles
Max Charles already has comic book movie experience, having portrayed the younger version of Andrew Garfield’s Peter Parker in Marc Webb two Amazing Spider-Man films. He was also featured in Clint Eastwood’s American Sniper as Chris Kyle’s son Colton. Charles was also a regular in the sci-fi sitcom, The Neighbors and has also done voice work in animated TV series and movies including The Lion Guard, Mr. Peabody & Sherman, The Angry Birds Movie, and Finding Dory.
5. Asa Butterfield
Asa Butterfield is simply one of the most prominent young actors in the business today. Audiences recognize him for his roles in The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, Martin Scorsese’s Hugo and the underrated big screen adaptation of Ender’s Game. He was also reportedly one of the frontrunners for Spider-Man before Tom Holland bagged the role. He will next be seen in Tim Burton’s Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children as well as The Space Between Us later this year.
6. Oakes Fegley
Oakes Fegley made his big screen debut in Fort Bliss starring alongside Michelle Monaghan and Ron Livingston. Recently, he was featured in This is Where I Leave You playing the young version of Jason Bateman’s character. He has also appeared in the television series Boardwalk Empire and Person of Interest in recurring roles. Audiences will next see him leading Disney’s upcoming Pete’s Dragon remake this August.
7. CJ Adams
CJ Adams has had a few roles in TV and film. He has had roles in the television series Chicago Fire and is most recognized for playing the titular character in The Odd Life of Timothy Green. He was also featured in Gareth Edwards’ Godzilla playing the young version of Aaron Taylor-Johnson’s character.
8. Zackary Arthur
Zackary Arthur’s career is just getting started, having recently appeared in The 5th Wave earlier this year alongside Chloe Grace Moretz. Arthur also had a recurring role in the award-winning Amazon series, Transparent as the son of Amy Landecker’s character.
9. Preston Bailey
Preston Bailey has acted in many television shows, including roles in Dexter, Criminal Minds, How I Met Your Mother, Numb3rs, and It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. He has had roles in the horror film, The Crazies and the family movie, Judy Moody and the Not Bummer Summer.
10. Gabriel Bateman
Audiences may recognize Gabriel Bateman from his supporting role in Annabelle, the spinoff of James Wan’s The Conjuring. Bateman has also had roles in the television series Stalker, Outcast, and most recently, American Gothic. You can see Bateman on the big screen later in July in the upcoming horror film, Lights Out.
11. Judah Lewis
Another potential Spider-Man contender, Judah Lewis recently appeared in Jean-Marc Vallee’s Demoliton alongside Jake Gyllenhaal, Naomi Watts and Chris Cooper. He also played the young Johnny Utah in the recent Point Break remake. Lewis will next be seen leading the McG-directed horror comedy, The Babysitter.
12. Cameron Boyce
Cameron Boyce is most recognized for his roles in Disney Channel and Disney XD shows Jessie and Gamer’s Guide to Pretty Much Everything as well as the TV movie, Descendants as the son of Cruella de Vil. He also acted in Eagle Eye, Judy Moody and the Not Bummer Summer, and both Grown Ups films alongside Adam Sandler.
13. Jaeden Lieberher
Jaeden Lieberher has had a nice slate of movie roles over the last three years, having appeared in St. Vincent alongside Bill Murray and Melissa McCarthy as well as Cameron Crowe’s Aloha and most recently, Jeff Nichols’ Midnight Special. He also appeared in the Showtime series, Masters of Sex and will next be seen alongside Jacob Tremblay in The Book of Henry and the reboot of Stephen King’s It.