The casting announcements keep coming for the DC Extended Universe’s Shazam film, as it now comes out that Faithe Herman has been cast in an unspecified role.
The young actress plays Annie, the daughter of one of the main characters, Randall, in the NBC drama series This is Us.
While it has not been officially announced what character Herman is set to play, fans of the comics can point to Darla Dudley as the most likely suspect, given that the character is an African-American girl about the same age as the nine-year-old actress.
Shazam centers around a young boy named Billy Batson, who is given the power to transform into an adult superhero by saying the magic word “Shazam!” He is set to be played by Asher Angel (Jonah Beck from Andi Mack), while his superhero form will be played by Zachary Levi (Flynn Rider from Tangled, Fandral from the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Thor movies).
Jack Dylan Grazer has also been cast as Freddy Freeman, who traditionally also gains superpowers and becomes Billy’s sidekick; so far, official sources only describe him as Billy’s best friend who knows about his secret identity. Meanwhile, Grace Fulton has been cast in an unspecified role, but which many fans believe will turn out to be Mary Batson/Bromfield, Billy’s long-lost twin sister, who rounds out the superpowered trio.
A relatively new character, Darla Dudley was introduced during the 2011 event Flashpoint, along with two other newcomers named Eugene Choi and Pedro Peña. These parts have also been cast in recent weeks, by Ian Chen (Fresh Off the Boat) and Jovan Armand (Bella and the Bulldogs), respectively.
In that event, the franchise’s mythology was reimagined so that the six children had to say the magic word together, at which point they would combine into one superhero. Later, the group were adapted into the New 52 as Billy’s foster siblings; the end of that storyline revealed that Billy could share his powers with them, giving them each an older, superheroic form.
So far it is unclear what the movie’s plans for these characters will be. If they stick with the more traditional trio of Billy, Freddy and Mary, Darla and the others may just be friends or schoolmates meant to round out the cast.