DC's 'Shazam!' Quietly Casts Djimon Hounsou as the Wizard
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The 'Guardians of the Galaxy' actor nabs the role after 'This Is Us' star Ron Cephas Jones is out of contention due to a scheduling conflict.

AceShowbiz - Djimon Hounsou is the Wizard. The "Guardians of the Galaxy" actor has been quietly cast as the sorcerer who gives young Billy Batson his powers in upcoming DC movie "Shazam!", according to Entertainment Weekly.

The site reports that "This Is Us" star Ron Cephas Jones was previously widely believed to end up taking on the role of the Wizard, but it didn't happen because of a scheduling conflict. Hounsou's casting was kept under wraps until the filming's over.

Hounsou gained recognition through his roles in films like "Amistad" (1997), "Gladiator" (2000), "In America (2003)" and "Blood Diamond" (2006). He had a minor role in "Furious 7" and played Korath the Pursuer in "Guardians of the Galaxy" (2014). He will reprise the role in upcoming "Captain Marvel".

The Golden Globe Award-nominated actor is one of a few stars who have significant roles in both the Marvel and DC universe at the same time. "Shazam!" lead actor Zachary Levi previously played Fandral in "Thor: The Dark World" and "Thor: Ragnarok", but his character was killed off before "Shazam!" plays in theaters.

"Shazam!" follows Billy Batson, a 14-year-old foster kid who can turn into the adult Super Hero Shazam by shouting out one word-SHAZAM!-courtesy of an ancient wizard. Still a kid at heart--inside a ripped, godlike body--Shazam revels in this adult version of himself by doing what any teen would do with superpowers: have fun with them!

"Can he fly? Does he have X-ray vision? Can he shoot lightning out of his hands? Can he skip his social studies test?" reads the official synopsis, "Shazam sets out to test the limits of his abilities with the joyful recklessness of a child. But he'll need to master these powers quickly in order to fight the deadly forces of evil controlled by Dr. Thaddeus Sivana."

Asher Angel portrays young Billy Batson, with Jack Dylan Grazer, Grace Fulton, Faithe Herman, Ian Chen and Jovan Armand playing members of Billy's foster family. Cooper Andrews and Marta Milans are cast as Billy's foster parents, Victor and Rosa Vasquez, while Mark Strong is tapped as Dr. Thaddeus Sivana.

Written by Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely, the movie is directed by David F. Sandberg ("Lights Out", "Annabelle: Creation"). It is set to arrive on April 5, 2019 in the United States.

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