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Entertainment Weekly


First Shazam! photo revealing Asher Angel as young Billy Batson

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You’ve seen him as the grown-up Shazam superhero. Now here’s 14-year-old Billy Batson (Disney Channel star Asher Angel, left) as his true self, along with his buddy Freddy Freeman (It star Jack Dylan Grazer, right).

Steve Wilkie/© DC Comics

In DC’s Shazam! film, Batson is an orphan granted an array of magical powers by a mysterious ancient Wizard (Djimon Hounsou) — all he needs to do is say a magic word to transform into a full-grown superhero.

“He’s misunderstood, he’s mischievous, he’s been a foster kid since he was 5 years old and really has no one to trust,” Angel says about his first big screen character.

At the start of the film, Billy moves into a new foster care home where he’s befriended by Freddy, whose knowledge of comics and superheroes comes in handy. “Freddy’s a fanbody when it comes to Batman, Superman, the Justice League, so he becomes Billy’s mentor and sansei when it comes to being a superhero,” Grazer says.

Angel tells us from the moment he started auditioning for the coveted role he was started practicing his delivery of his character’s power word, which he’s had to say countless times since then — but he swears he’s not getting tired of it.

“Oh my god, I can’t even tell you how many times I practiced saying it!” Angel says. “My family and friends are asking if I’ll ever get sick of saying ‘Shazam!’ I’ll never be sick of it. Ever.”

Okay, but we’re asking you again in five years.

Here’s a shot EW revealed previously of Freddy and Billy-as-Shazam:

Steve Wilkie/© DC Comics

For more, pick up EW’s Comic-Con special issue featuring our cover story on Shazam! You can get it at the fan convention — or buy it online here.