The chemistry between Zachary Levi's Shazam and Jack Dylan Grazer's Freddy Freeman is one of the key elements in the success of Shazam!, which took the box office crown last weekend. In an inversion of what you might expect when looking at the two actors side by side, Grazer got to be almost a mentor figure to Shazam -- twice, actually. First, he helped Billy Batson (Asher Angel), showing him the ropes of family life in the Philadelphia group home where they lived before showing him (as Levi) how to be a superhero. And while it might not be as cool as suiting up yourself, Grazer was excited for the role Freddy had to play in Shazam's development.
Grazer describes Freddy as "kind of like a sidekick or his Alfred. I feel like Alfred in Batman. I know everything, yeah he's going to be hiding there, he's going to be over there, because I know all about this and I plan everything out. It's pretty cool." He also said that "Freddy helped Shazam embrace being a hero," adding, "Freddy, as you all know, has a disability with his foot and his spine. He, in my eyes, is kind of a hero due to the fact that he doesn't let the hate get to him. He uses that disability, I guess you could say, to his advantage. He laughs about his disability rather than feel sorry for himself, which I think is a really cool, strong, move and he teaches Billy this is the most f---ing cool thing he could ever have. 'Dude, embrace the s--t outta this.'"
Freddy is a superhero super-fan, and ads for the movie have revealed him to have totebags, t-shirts, news clippings, a batarang, and a small, metal item in a dresser drawer that turned out to be a bullet that flattened against Superman. It's through him that we see how the public understands superheroes now that Justice League has happened and there is less apprehensiveness about Superman's role in the world.
Grazer will appear again in It Chapter Two, out in theaters on September 6. Shazam is now in theaters; Joker arrives on October 4, Birds of Prey on February 7, 2020, Wonder Woman 1984 on June 5, 2020, and The Batman on June 25, 2021.
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