During a lengthy chat with Collider, Shazam director, David F. Sandberg (Annabelle: Creation) was asked about working with a child actor or if he’d employ some sort of de-aging process for the adult lead instead.
“Yeah, I wouldn’t want to do that. That seems like way too much of a hassle. So I think it’s just kind of best to have a kid and an adult.”
While the choice seems like a no-brainer, de-aging actors has been growing in popularity for years. It was first used to make Professor X and Magneto younger in X-Men: The Last Stand, and has become increasingly common in genre franchises.
“Yeah and they’ve done quite well, I mean Kurt Russell was in the latest Guardians was really well made I thought, but I think there’s a limit to it as well. You probably can’t do someone to be a kid. Why create that hassle for yourself?”
Yet while it’s possible, the idea of making the core of the film be a child actor with a digitally added face could be both problematic and distracting. Given the transformation Batson makes when he becomes Shazam, the easiest solution is just cast someone young and explain the differences as part of the aging and magic process.
Sandberg has said that casting for Shazam should be announced soon, so we won’t have to wait too much longer to learn who will star in the film and exactly what technique will be employed to show the two sides of the hero.
Shazam is tentatively scheduled for release in early 2019.