Jerad S.Marantz, a concept artist and creature designer who has worked on some of the biggest movies in recent years, took to Instagram today to share a look at his first sketch of the Wizard Shazam, as he was expected to appear in Shazam! before he got a few minor costume tweaks. In the images seen below, the hood worn by the character in the final movie is gone, but his robe is even bigger, giving his body a more shapeless affect. He also has a great deal of white face paint on, looking almost like a skull on his face.
The wizard Shazam was originally rumored to be played by Ron Cephas Jones, best known for his work on This is Us, but the talks fell through, reportedly due to scheduling conflicts. Aquaman and Guardians of the Galaxy actor Djimon Hounsou stepped up to take the role, and it's Hounsou who appeared in the final film.
You can see the sketch, which might be either actor given all the makeup, below.
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In the film, the role of The Wizard is very similar to how he was depicted in Geoff Johns and Gary Frank's Shazam! miniseries from The New 52. He appears only briefly, and is not there to be a mentor to Billy Batson, who has to instead learn hot to be a superhero from trial and error (and a lot o coaching from his superhero-obsessed foster brother).
In addition to his roles in Shazam! and Aquaman, Hounsou has played comic book characters in Guardians of the Galaxy (a role her reprised in Captain Marvel) and a character in the world of the Kingsman comics in the forthcoming prequel The King's Man.
In addition to being one of the only people involved in both Captain Marvel and Shazam! -- that is, the character first known as Captain Marvel in the comics -- Hounsou takes a reflective position on the popularity of superhero and comic book films.
"I think it comes down to the idea of the organic man," the actor once told ComicBook.com. "I think we all fantasize about being the best and have the most unusual ability to do a number of things in life. These are the rare times that fortunately, in the movie you get to exercise those fantasies."