Rachel Zegler might soon become a household name. The previously unknown actress was plucked from obscurity to star as Maria in Steven Spielberg’s remake of West Side Story, and now she’s joining the DC Extended Universe as well.
A new report says Zegler has been hired to play a “key role” in the upcoming sequel Shazam: Fury of the Gods, making her the latest member of the Shazam 2 cast.
The Wrap reports that Zegler has been hired in “a key role” for the new Zachary Levi-led film, but details about her character are being kept under wraps. The actress, who absolutely crushed it when she belted a cover of Lady Gaga’s “Shallow” from the A Star is Born remake in 2018, would already be familiar to us in a world without the pandemic, since Spielberg’s West Side Story was originally set to be released last Christmas. It’s since been bumped, and since Zegler has no other film credits to her name yet, it’s kinda tough to say anything other than that she seems nice and DC continues to hire interesting actors to join its superhero party.
i am in my key role in shazam 2 era
— rachel zegler (she/her/hers) (@rachelzegler) February 25, 2021
But with no details whatsoever about her character, what else is a blogger to do here? How about some rampant speculation about what DC character she might be playing? Well, obviously the first name that comes to mind is a disguised version of Sarge Steel, the detective/spy with a mechanical left hand who becomes a shady government operative. Obviously. But frankly, that’s a little too on the nose. Director David F. Sandberg is smarter than that. He might cast her as the voice of Mister Mind, the bizarre, hyper-intelligent worm creature that was introduced in a post-credits scene of the first movie. But Sandberg knows we all want to see Mister Mind obliterate everyone else in a karaoke scene, and he’s not interested in giving us that kind of pay-off until at least Shazam 5.
No, Sandberg has something more devious up his sleeve. He’s playing four-dimensional chess here – but luckily, we’re the only ones who are advanced enough to see what he’s up to. It’s clear to me that Rachel Zegler will be playing Mister Banjo, a character who worked as an agent for the Axis powers during World War II. Mister Banjo is described like this on his wiki page: “Dressed as a stout man in a shaggy green suit and straw hat who carried around an old banjo with him, Kurt Filpots delivered secrets in the form of musical notes. Although evil, Mr. Banjo would go up against [Shazam] with nothing more than a banjo.”
I’m sure that with hindsight, you can all see that this piece of gender-flipped casting has been staring you in the face the entire time. I’m frankly surprised the rest of the Internet hasn’t picked up on this yet. But Shazam! Fury of the Gods will be released on June 2, 2023, so we only have *checks math* 28 more months until we get final confirmation. DC better start prepping piles of Mister Banjo merch now, because the demand is going to be out of this world.
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