Warner Brothers/New Line is starting to gear up production on Shazam! and they show how serious they are by talking to Mark Strong to take over the role of Captain Marvel’s arch-enemy in the film.
The Hollywood Reporter states that Strong is up for the role of Doctor Thaddeus Sivana, the evil scientist whose nefarious plans are often opposed by Captain Marvel and his allies. Sivana has been the characters arch-enemy in the comic books–the Luthor to his Superman, the Joker to his Batman–since both characters debuted in Whiz Comics #2.
Sivana has been portrayed for most of his existence as a short, sniveling weakling who is the physical opposite of Captain Marvel. However, in recent years, he has be portrayed as a normal human who had his body withered away after dabbling in black magic. It will be interesting to see which version the film expects Strong to play.
Strong has been the go-to guy for film villainy for more than a decade, playing bad guys in films such as Revolver, Sherlock Holmes, Robin Hood and John Carter. He has not shied away from playing the villain in comic book adaptations either, portraying mob boss Frank D’Amico in Kick-Ass and Sinestro in Green Lantern.
The fact that Warners is thinking of casting its Sinestro as its Sivana might answer any lingering questions as to whether or not the 2011 Green Lantern film is part of the DC Extended Universe with a resounding no.
And I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that if Strong signs on to the role, he will be the second actor to bring Sivana to life in a live-action vehicle. The first was Howard Morris, who played the character in the two-episode campy cult classic TV series, Legends of the Superheroes from January of 1979.