'Shazam!' Will Base Sivana on the New 52

In case there was any doubt that Shazam! villain Mark Strong's Thaddeus Sivana would draw from Geoff Johns's 2011 reboot rather than the classic labcoat-wearing weakling, the actor put it to rest during an interview on the film's set last year.

How does Sivana manage to stand up against Shazam and the six titans from which he draws his abilities?

"Well, as you all know, this is the New 52 version, in which he's much more robust, much more powerful," Strong said. "Obviously, originally, he was a scientist, and I think the story was that he was thwarted and the world didn't understand him. In fact, originally, I think he went to Venus and then came back. I don't think my Sivana's done that necessarily. Nevertheless, you know, he's able to sort of channel that thing that all great supervillains do, which is a need to have complete power and basically rule everything. That seems to me to be a standard of good old fashioned evil characters."

In some ways, it seems Strong is leaning into the evil of Sivana; during that same set visit, he talked about the authoritarian-inspired costuming on his character.

"It's interesting how they view what's happening to them now that they've got power," Strong told reporters during a visit to the set of Shazam! last year. "For example, the Shazam suit is really an incarnation of a superhero suit as seen by a 13, 14 year old boy. That's the idea. It's a little bit garish, a little bit bright, but you know, that's how he imagines it."

"You've seen Sivana's costume? Is that what he thinks is evil incarnate?" Strong continued. "He's chosen something, a long sort of Nazi-like long leather coat with a fur collar, you know, and a pair of dark sunglasses, because I suppose, as he gets that evil power, this is how he chooses to manifest himself in the way that he looks."

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If you want to learn more about we recently learned during an exclusive preview of Shazam! held for press, be sure to listen to our full breakdown on the ComicBook Nation podcast. You can listen to that, below:

The DC Movie Universe continues with Aquaman, in theaters now. Shazam hits theaters on April 5th, Joker on October 4th, Birds of Prey on February 7th, 2020, Wonder Woman 1984 on June 5th, 2020, and The Batman on June 25th, 2021.