Nothing is confirmed at this time, but it looks as though SHAZAM is doing fine. An audition tape revealed a character by the name of “Frank”. But some speculate that this is DC covering up the actual role – Freddy Freeman, better known as Captain Marvel Jr. It’s certainly a trick Hollywood is all too familiar with. But savvy enough fans of Captain Marvel lore may have been able to crack this deception more easily than DC and Warner Bros. anticipated.
This “Frank” character is depicted as having a disability. This lines up with the Freddy Freeman character. One of Freddy’s defining traits was his being crippled. The nature of this “Frank” character’s disability isn’t known. But it is an uncanny coincidence. Of course, the point of the character is to essentially be empowering to kids who have these disabilities. One could argue that the disability he has doesn’t matter. The semantics of that is a debate for another time. It was enough of a connecting thread to get people thinking.
Another of the noteworthy traits about the character is a known obsession with superheroes. In fact, it’s an obsession that the character seems to take up to eleven. He apparently has a replica Batarang and a bullet that actually bounced off of Superman. That second one reaches the point of wondering how in the world he got a hold of that, but it’s DC. Small logistics have never been their strong point unless the title begins with the word “Bat”. They’re all about the big picture. It can be forgiven. But how does this line up with the character of Freddy Freeman? Well, not a lot, honestly. Actually, it probably lines up a bit more with pre-New52 Billy, who’s often characterized as a diehard Superman fan. But does this deter people from thinking it’s him? Not likely.
There are other things to consider about it all. Freddy is generally portrayed as a slightly darker character than Billy, which is to be expected. His origin is significantly darker, and he has his fair share of exceptionally dreary stories. So could that mean that audiences will get to see some of that seriously weighted character drama in the SHAZAM franchise? Possibly.
Another question would be the naming. Obviously, the titular character of the movie is going by their modern name, SHAZAM. So if Freddy will eventually gain the powers of the good captain, will he still be Captain Marvel Jr? It’s more likely he’ll be Shazam Jr, as per the New 52. Though that does leave the question of what exactly the rest of the Marvel Family is going to be called. Mary Shazam doesn’t quite roll off the tongue as nicely as Mary Marvel. The name “Shezam” has been thrown around, but altering the spelling kinda defeats the point. And also, no… just no.
Unfortunately, Dwayne Johnson won’t be pitted against the titular character as Black Adam until after appearing in his own movie. But SHAZAM is set to begin filming on February 5th and wrap on May 4th.