Mark Strong in Talks to Play Villain in New Line Cinema’s ‘Shazam!’

New Line Cinema’s Film

Mark Strong is reportedly in early talks to join Shazam! as villain Doctor Sivana in the film, which stars Zachary Levi as the hero Captain Marvel.

The Wrap was the first to broke the news that the Green Lantern actor is in talks for the role of Billy Batson’s classic nemeses.

Variety also reports that Annabelle: Creation star Grace Fulton is in negotiations to play one of Billy Batson’s friends in the DCEU film, directed by David F. Sandberg, using a script written by Henry Gayden.

It’s not going to be a Black Adam movie, as Dwayne Johnson will be playing the DC Comics character (who is known as the main adversary of Shazam) in a standalone WB’s film that is being developed concurrently with New Line Cinema’s project.

The target release date for Shazam! is April 2019.

Doctor Thaddeus Sivana was an old-school comic book supervillain, first arriving to menace Shazam (then known as Captain Marvel; no relation to the Marvel character of the same name) in 1940. Being an evil genius, he quickly deduces that the magical superhero with the red and gold outfit is actually young Billy Batson and becomes a thorn in his side, menacing him for the majority of the early Shazam/Captain Marvel stories.

Doctor Sivana is very much the prototypical mad scientist and his design – chrome dome, round goggles, and white coat with a high collar – has defined what this kind of character has looked like for the past 77 years. In his earliest incarnations, he left the planet Earth after feeling rejected by society and returned as a villain hellbent on conquering the globe. In recent years, he’s been reinvented as a well-regarded scientist who taps into magic when science fails him, ultimately being drawn into a world of evil.