'Shazam!' Gets Sequel Treatment With Rehiring of Original Writer and Director
Warner Bros. Pictures

The DC Comics superhero film, starring 'Chuck' actor Zachary Levi, itself has collected a total of over $159 million at the global box office following its theatrical release on April 5.

AceShowbiz - A "Shazam!" sequel is in development with original screenplay writer Henry Gayden.

The movie, based on the DC Comics character of the same name, hit cinemas in the U.S. last Friday, April 05, with the story following Billy Batson (Asher Angel) as a teenage boy who can transform into an adult superhero, as played by Zachary Levi.

"Shazam!" has received a largely positive response from critics, and grossed a worldwide total of over $159 million (£121 million) at the box office, with editors at TheWrap now reporting that a follow-up is coming.

Film insiders have told the publication that Gayden has been tapped to write the script, while David F. Sandberg is also expected to return as director, with Peter Safran serving as producer.

Gayden previously penned the screenplay for 2014's "Earth to Echo" and was most recently attached to write the script for "Last Human", an upcoming sci-fi flick to be directed by Phil Lord and Christopher Miller.

Little else is known about the sequel, though Levi has been busy with various projects in recent months, having landed the part of Benjamin in hit TV series "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel", and the voice-acting part of Biff Tarkin in the TV show "Star Wars: Detours".

However, the former "Chuck" actor indicated that he was confident that another "Shazam!" movie would be greenlit during an appearance on "The Late Show with Stephen Colbert" last Thursday, where he explained that he was determined to maintain the buff physique he had built for the role.

"I think I gained, like, 24 pounds (10 kilograms) in the first couple of months and I've stayed in the gym six days a week through all of it still, till this day. And I'm healthier and stronger than I've ever been and I'm so grateful for that," the 38-year-old said. "I worked out today. I'm hoping for a sequel."

"Shazam!" also features Mark Strong, Jack Dylan Grazer and Djimon Hounsou, and is now showing in cinemas around the world.

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