Wrestling fans will be excited to know that Black Adam is the most like the “1999, Michael Cole humiliating, eyebrow raising, Attitude Era” Rock than probably ANY movie character he’s played in his career (minus those gigantic sideburns). It is the perfect role for him and he will get the chance to be as vile as the original wrestling character that made him famous.
But now that this movie has its villain...what about the hero? Surely the search is on for the man that will face Black Adam, Shazam! And yes, it’s Shazam now, not Captain Marvel. To make it easier for everyone (because almost EVERY non-comic book reader would make this mistake...and we would have to constantly correct them, right?), DC has decided to make the actual hero’s name Shazam. Sorry, traditionalists...but I can’t argue that this was a good move. It's just less frustrating.
So in this week’s Bleed, I decided to take a look at a few contenders to play the big red cheese (yes, people call him that...I have no idea why) and we’ll see if they can take on what will be a MASSIVELY RIPPED Black Adam!
Now keep in mind, this is just for fun, and none of these actors have been confirmed to have anything to do with Shazam. And I was so far off when I did this same thing for Batman and Wonder Woman, that I doubt ANY of these guys will get the part!
Oh, and I'm also gonna grade each actor's "Lightning Level" out of 10. Because...why not?!
First off is a guy that seems to rule Hollywood these days. He's just as great at comedy as he is action, and the ladies love him too. I think the Shazam movie definitely needs more...
You've Seen Him In: 21 & 22 Jump Street, G.I. Joe, Magic Mike, White House Down
I'm not ashamed to say it, I like this guy! He's funny, a pretty good actor and despite being able to take all female attention away from me (it could actually happen!), looks like the kind of dude I could be buds with.
Is there anyone more fitting to be Shazam? I don't think so. He also is a legit action hero, has the right physique and could pull off the immaturity level that someone playing Shazam (whose secret identity is actually teenager Billy Batson) would require.
Channing also has worked with The Rock previously on G.I. Joe: Retaliation, so it's not that big of a stretch.
The only thing is that Channing has already signed on to play Gambit in X-Men: Apocalypse, and while I think he's better suited to wear the big lightning bolt...he will likely be busy flinging cards at people in a trench coat. Which to be honest, sounds like more fun!
Also, we already know what happens when a guy does an X-Men movie and then a DC movie right after. Ryan Reynolds anyone!? That wasn't pretty.
Lightning Level: 9.5
You've Seen Him In: HBO's The Leftovers, Amazing Spider-Man, Shark Night 3D
Chris is actually a big up-and-comer in Hollywood and since terrorizing a young Peter Parker as Flash Thompson in Amazing Spider-Man, he's gotten the notice of a lot of people in the biz. He was also a great Flash...even showing that he's not that bad of a guy in the end.
He's one of the stars of my new addiction, The Leftovers over on HBO. This show is so weird and manages to give me a creeped out, weird feeling in my stomach with every episode. It's so strange and I don't know what the heck is going on, and I can't stop watching.
Chris is a big part of the weirdness, and watching him makes me think he was born to be cast as a superhero. He's young, has that square jaw that a hero like Shazam should have, and is basically a new comer for most people...similar to Henry Cavill.
I don't know if he could handle such a big role or not, And some people may have a problem with his blonde hair (nothing a dye job wouldn't fix), but if I was to pick a young actor with a big career ahead of him for Shazam, this is who I'd go with.
Lightning Level: 7
You've Seen Him In: Gangster Squad, Collateral, Dodgeball
Ever since Sean Young vigorously campaigned to be Catwoman in Batman Returns back in the 90's, almost every superhero film has had an actor do the same and try their hardest to get cast in a major role. What some of them don't realize is that (like Sean) it usually works against them and it hurts their chances.
Brandon Molale has been campaigning to be Captain Marvel/Shazam for quite some time (but not too hard...it's more out of fan demand), and I think for the first time we can say he is rightful to do so! I mean, just look at him! THAT is Shazam. Or at least the most like Alex Ross' interpretation of the character of any actor I've seen! WB would be dumb to not at least give him an audition.
The only thing Molale has against him is the fact that he may not be famous or young enough. If they were going to go with an older actor...it would be someone famous like Ben Affleck's Batman. If it was someone younger, it would be a fresh face like Cavill's Superman. Brandon's out of both categories. I'm not saying it's fair, but that's how Hollywood execs think.
BUT if the folks over at Warner Bros. were smart and learned from Guardians of the Galaxy about taking chances with superhero flicks, they should be thinking about someone that is both conventional and unconventional at the same time.
Brandon Molale LOOKS like Shazam, he WANTS to be Shazam, so maybe he SHOULD be Shazam!
Lightning Level: 8
You've Seen Him In: The X-Men movies, The Twilight movies, TV's Fringe
Another fine choice for the role is the guy who's played Colossus in 3 X-Men movies, Daniel Cudmore. He's big, he's fit, and he knows what it takes to play a superhero.
Sure he's already stapled in as Piotr Rasputin, but I find the X-Men movies haven't put him in the forefront enough (he barely has had 3 lines in 3 movies), and this would be a perfect opportunity for him to jump into the spotlight and really show off what he can do.
But can he pull it off? He does look the part, but this is a major role and we haven't really seen his acting chops that much. The role of Shazam will require a lot of charisma...and I can't be too sure if Daniel has enough.
But I'm behind the big guy! After all, he's a fellow Canadian (Daniel is a native of Vancouver)! Maybe he can throw in an "EH" at the end it when he yells out Shazam!
Lightning Level: 7
You've Seen Him In: Donnie Darko, Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, Source Code
Jake has been mentioned for this role for awhile. I honestly have no idea why! He rarely has done big budget action movies and the one he actually did try, Prince of Persia....did not turn out that well for him. So I'm convinced that this genre is not his cup of tea.
I could be wrong, he could be great...but I seriously doubt it. Just having him attached would maybe ruin the movie for everyone. And would show that the people behind Shazam are so out of touch it isn't funny.
Jake is a great actor. Donnie Darko is a cult masterpiece. And he's proven he's willing to bulk up for a role. But he likely needs to stay away from superhero/cartoon/video game movies for the rest of his career.
We do not need another Prince of Persia fiasco. Ever.
Lightning Level: 4 (sorry, Jake!)
And now for my silly, "will never happen in a million years no matter how awesome it would be" casting pick!
You've Seen Him In: The Marine, 12 Rounds, Adjusting Attitudes and Doctoring Thuganomics in the WWE
Now before you banish me from the internet, hear me out. This guy is practically already a superhero in the eyes of kids everywhere. There's no doubt he has the physique (if not too much bulk), the charisma and fame to pull it off.
And he's already The Rock's nemesis in the WWE Universe. They've wrestled against each other at two Wrestlemanias and each of them have a win over the other! Meaning the tie break needs to be on the BIG SCREEN! With lighting and special FX!
In all seriousness, the only real thing Cena has against him is probably his acting ability. While able to be energetic in a wrestling ring and deliver a promo with passion that it all becomes very real to you (it's real to me, dammit), his acting in the few movies he's done...let's face it...stinks. Even in a scene with the super talented Patricia Clarkson in his only actual dramatic role, in Legendary, Cena really struggles to show actual emotion.
But action is his forte, and Shazam would be more about the looking like a badass than anything else...and that's something Cena pulls off naturally. No matter how much the grownup, male wrestling audience wouldn't like to admit it.
It will never, ever happen. But if it did, it would be the greatest wrestler vs. wrestler movie since No Holds Barred. Seriously! Tommy "Tiny" Lister deserved at least a Golden Globe for that!
Lighting Level: 6.5
Well there you have it, my totally not legit casting list for Shazam!
There's still tons of other roles in this movie we can think about! What about Billy Batson? Every young actor in Hollywood is probably vying for that role! And of course there's the wizard (who was originally the one named Shazam) that gives Billy his abilities! Who would fill that role? Let us know who you think in the comments section!
I'd also suggest everyone reads Shazam Volume 1, collecting Geoff Johns' and Gary Frank's New 52 origin of the character! It's actually one of my favorite New 52 reboot of a character, as it feels like Shazam actually needed a current, fresh new take! Check it out!
That's all for now! Stay tuned to ENR for more Shazam movie news in the near future!