Although Shazam won’t be facing off against his arch-nemesis Black Adam (more on him later) in the movie, he will have a pretty terrifying opponent in Mark Strong’s Dr. Thaddeus Sivana, described as “an evil sorcerer who regenerates from death with world domination on his mind,” which should prove quite the test for our newly created hero.
Strong has been making a name for himself in big blockbusters for quite a while now. He played Prince Septimus in the 2007 Neil Gaiman adaptation Stardust, and then starred as villainous Lord Blackwood in Robert Downey Jr.’s Sherlock Holmes. He then appeared in another comic book film, playing the crime lord Frank D’Amico in 2010’s Kick-Ass.
In 2011, Strong made an appearance in another DC film, although it didn’t go overly well: He played Sinestro in Ryan Reynolds’ Green Lantern movie. Strong has revealed that, as hinted at the end of the film, Sinestro was supposed to go bad in the planned sequel, but after the movie was panned by critics, that unfortunately never came to be.
Between Green Lantern and Shazam!, Strong has had plenty more time to refine his onscreen persona, appearing in Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, Zero Dark Thirty, The Imitation Game, and the Kingsman films. With his past experience, it seems like he’s well prepped for the challenge of playing a big-screen villain.