'Lights Out' director David F. Sandberg is helming the superhero movie
Credit: Peter Kramer/NBCUniversal/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images; DC Comics

Zachary Levi has said the magic word.

The Chuck star is set to play the title character in Shazam, Warner Bros. and New Line’s big-screen adaptation of the DC comic, EW has confirmed.

Lights Out and Annabelle: Creation filmmaker David F. Sandberg is on board to direct, working from a script by Henry Gayden and Darren Lemke. The story follows a young boy named Billy Batson, who upon saying “Shazam!” transforms into a grown-up superhero, whose powers are represented by Solomon, Hercules, Atlas, Zeus, Achilles, and Mercury, the mythological figures that make up the character’s acronym name.

Dwayne Johnson was previously cast as Shazam villain Black Adam, but he’ll no longer appear in Shazam, instead landing his own solo film.

Levi’s casting returns the actor to the world of superheroes. In addition to his role in 2015’s Heroes: Reborn, he once again portrays Fandral in next month’s Thor: Ragnarok. But Levi is most known for his five-season stint as super spy Chuck Bartowski on the cult NBC series Chuck. Last month, speaking to EW, he discussed his struggle to find roles unlike his memorable character.

“As with anyone, you play someone who becomes iconic and then everyone wants to keep hiring you for that character, and that’s been tough,” admitted Levi. “I don’t want to turn down work, but I also don’t want to just keep playing the nerd every single time, because there’s more to me — at least I hope there’s more to me — than just that.”

The Hollywood Reporter first reported Levi’s casting.

Shazam! (2019 Movie)
David F. Sandberg's superhero movie is a lot jokier and zippier than the spandex tentpoles we've come to expect from DC.
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