DC has had an awful hard time in the cinema stakes recently, so it’s perhaps not too surprising that its latest venture away from the extended universe is under close scrutiny.
And following his announcement in January that he was taking on the role of Shazam!’s nemesis Doctor Thaddeus Bodog Sivana, Mark Strong has been getting thoroughly stuck into the villainous role.
New shots (obtained by Dailymail.com) snapped on location in Toronto, Canada, have given fans of the DC comic their first look at Captain Marvel (AKA Shazam!), played by Zachary Levi, and one of his most famous adversaries.
Braving the cold weather in the Canadian city the 54-year-old British star was seen going head-to-head with leading man Zachary – who was hard to miss in his bright red lycra.
The film to date has remained shrouded in mystery, with little known about its plot of the film, though some of the casting has been nailed down; Mark being the latest star to officially confirm his role in the comic book movie.
Before being snapped on set he let slip that he’d signed on to play the super villain in another DC film – he appeared in 2011’s widely derided Green Lantern – explaining he felt he had unfinished business with the comic book giant’s big screen efforts.
‘I’m playing an evil bastard called Doctor Sivana, they are always the best characters to play, the most fun,’ the Kingsman star told Celebretainment last month.
‘I was Sinestro in Green Lantern, which I thought was a rather good film, but it didn’t do what they wanted. So I feel like I’ve got unfinished business in the DC world. I played a pretty evil character in that, and he was meant to get even worse in the second one but that never happened, but I think I’m going to get the chance to do that in Shazam!, I hope so.’
He added: ‘It’s a funny film, it’s about a young boy who can become a superhero but still remains a young boy so there’s elements of Big, there’s elements of Stranger Things. I think originally the comic outsold ‘Superman’ in the 1940s.’
Strong’s character is Shazam!’s oldest regular for, having first appeared in a storyline with the superhero back in Whizz! comics issue number two, back in 1940.
Sivana was at first a good man who wanted to help humanity, but that pesky old thing called capitalism, corporate bosses and other social barriers blocked his progress.
Left bitter at his critics turning the public and other influential figures against him he turned against humanity and moved to Venus, where he lived among an advanced race, though he later returned to earth and established himself as a new-breed of super villain.
More: Mark Strong
The classic storyline that Shazam! has been built on since the superhero first made his appearance in the forties sees young Billy Batson gifted with the power of the wizard Shazam! to fight against the forces of evil.
Armed with the wisdom of Solomon, the strength of Hercules, the stamina of Atlas, the power of Zeus, the courage of Achilles and speed of Mercury, he is the holder of the power of S.H.A.Z.A.M; he is Captain Marvel.
Other stars attached to the project include Luke Cage and This Is Us star Ron Jones, Badland’s Grace Fulton, and IT’s Jack Grazer.
The films has no specific release date yet, but it is thought it’ll land in April 2019.
Got a story?
If you've got a story, video or pictures get in touch with the Metro.co.uk Entertainment team by emailing us [email protected], calling 020 3615 2145 or by visiting our Submit Stuff page – we'd love to hear from you.