'Shazam!' Eyeing 'This Is Us' Star for Role as The Wizard

Before the upcoming Shazam! movie can tell the origin story of how young Billy Batson (Asher [...]

Ron Cephas Jones Joins Shazam Movie as The Wizard

Before the upcoming Shazam! movie can tell the origin story of how young Billy Batson (Asher Angel) becomes the mystical superhero Shazam (Zachary Levi), the kid needs to first go through the mystical process that endows him with the powers of classic heroic figures. Now we have word about who will play the iconic mystical figure known as "The Wizard," who gives Shazam his powers.

The Wrap reports that This Is Us and Mr. Robot actor Ron Cephas Jones is in talks for the role of The Wizard in Shazam!, which would be spot-on casting, in our opinion.

The Wizard's character and role in the DC Universe has evolved over the years, like so many things in DC Comics lore. Back in the Golden and Silver Ages of DC, "The Wizard" was actually the one named Shazam; he was a superhero of the Egyptian era, gifted with the following:

It was when young Billy Batson called upon Shazam's name that the old wizard transferred his power to Billy, who was transformed into the hero "Captain Marvel." Clearly, that name carries certain legal hangups in the modern era, where Marvel Studios has their own Captain Marvel franchise to launch.

Luckily, the Shazam! mythos was later overhauled. Instead of an old white man as an alleged wizard of Egypt, the "New 52" reboot re-introduced the character as just "The Wizard," and changed his ethnicity to the Middle Eastern land of Kahndaq, located between Egypt and Israel.

The new Wizard got a whole new origin story in which he was the last of the Council of Wizards, controlling magic's use in the world from The Rock of Eternity. When Dr. Sivana (who's played by Mark Strong in the movie) opens the tomb trapping the evil Black Adam, The Wizard begins abducting people from Earth as candidates to take his place. He ultimately (and reluctantly) chooses young street kid Billy Batson, and passes on the power of Shazam as his dying act.

Everything abou the Shazam! movie casting suggests that director David F. Sandberg (Lights Out) is going to be sticking pretty close to the New 52 storyline - which may be the only way to go, really. Given his theatrical experience, Ron Cephas Jones will be able to ground this fantastical (read: potentially silly) aspect of the film's mythos and exposition, which is a much-needed service in any superhero movie.