By James Hibberd
July 24, 2018 at 12:38 PM EDT

The first trailer for DC’s Shazam! delighted (and relieved) fans at Comic-Con on Saturday with its upbeat tale of teen wish fulfillment. But it also left out a major component of its story: The movie’s villain, Dr. Thaddeus Sivana, who’s played by Kingsman and Kick-Ass veteran Mark Strong.

You get a brief glimpse of him at the 2:22 mark in the trailer below, but otherwise the footage (quite wisely) focuses on introducing its young/old hero Billy Batson (Asher Angel and Zachary Levi) and its high-concept comedic premise of a kid who can transform into an adult superhero.

EW has now learned a little about the character Strong will be playing. Comic fans already know Sivana is Batson’s arch-nemesis, but there have been different backstories for the character over the years. In Shazam!, 14-year-old orphan Batson is selected by a 3,000-year-old Wizard to inherit his powers due to his pure heart. The film’s version of Sivana also encountered The Wizard as a kid — but he was rejected to receive his powers. Ever since then, Sivana has spent his life searching for a way to gain the abilities that Billy now possesses in a desire to live up to the expectations of a domineering father.

“Mark Strong loves being a bad guy,” director David Sandberg enthused, but still had to keep things pretty cryptic: “And it’s not just him, really, it’s … something else … that lent him his powers … he can do some things that Shazam can’t. The danger in some films is the bad guy has the same powers as the good guy. [Sivana] has an extra thing, extra dynamic, that takes care of that….”

Previously the director took to Twitter to reassure fans that, yes, the film has action in it, not just comedy:

The threats faced by Batson in the movie will almost certainly be shown in the movie’s second trailer (watch the first), which DC has plenty of time to roll out given the movie doesn’t open until next April.


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