The Cast and Director of SHAZAM received a warm welcome back today, taking over Toronto’s Yonge-Dundas Square! In town to ring-in the Blockbuster directed by David F. Sandberg and also a world exclusive Fan Event at the hotspot, were stars Zachary Levi (Shazam), Mark Strong (Dr. Thaddeus Sivana), Asher Dov Angel (Billy Batson) and Jack Dylan Grazer (Freddy Freeman).
The affair saw fans queueing as early as this morning for a chance to be up-close to the stars, who just a year ago filmed the Production in the City at various locations including Pinewood Studios. The group did the rounds in the City today making several stop-offs including visits to the CN Tower, Bell Media Headquarters, Corus and CITY‘s Breakfast Television, before hitting up the Red Carpet.
Shazam, based on the DC Comics character of the same name, centers on a 14-year-old orphan named Billy who is taken-in by an adoptive family, after fleeing many times from others. Once again he finds himself struggling to fit-in with their five other adopted children. One day, he is taken on a subway ride where he encounters a wizard who transforms him into a superhero. He soon realizes his purpose is to prevent the evil Dr. Thaddeus Sivana from taking away the power bestowed upon him, which could cause mass destruction to the world. Billy finds himself turning to his new-found family when he least expects it.
See the Trailer:
Toronto Mayor John Tory had the honour of handing a plaque to Sandberg commemorating Shazam‘s contribution to the City, including a remarkable $55 million in spending as a result of the Film. Tory just returned this weekend from the SXSW Festival in Austin, Texas and tells us, “They think it’s cool a movie like Shazam was produced here. And so that helps us to grow the city to make it a great place to live, for show business and entertainment and a place that welcomes people who are innovative.”.
Mark Strong who plays the Film’s villain, has made numerous Films here in the past and says, “You know that when you come here to make a movie, you know you’re getting the best possible people. I’ve made some really good friends over the things that I’ve done.”.
David F. Sandberg, who shifts from the Horror genre after having made films like Lights Out and Annabelle: Creation, reveals that this was his first time shooting outside of Los Angeles. “It could’ve been a little warmer but other than that, the crews were amazing and really impressed me”, he says. “It was such a great city to shoot in and spend the better part of last year.”.
Zachary Levi is no stranger to Toronto, having filmed TV Series Heroes Reborn here. He states “I’ve been blessed to work here a couple times and this certainly is the biggest thing I’ve gotten to do. Every time I’ve gotten to appreciate the city more and more. Everyone knows the food scene here is fantastic – so kudos to that. This really is Hollywood North. There’s so much talent in this area and around this area.”. He adds, “Really big movies have been made in Toronto, so it’s really cool you’ve allowed us to Shazamify this whole area and bring this fun activation to the fans.”.
Jack Dylan Grazer, plays the adopted brother and best friend of the Film’s central character, Billy. He also filmed both IT and IT: Chapter Two in and around the City. Grazer who attended with his mother, says “I’ve spent a lot of time in Toronto in the summer when it’s beautiful and not so freezing! I’ve spend time in Port Hope and the interiors – I’ve really enjoyed my time here and I’m thankful I had this opportunity.”.
Asher Dov Angel who plays the younger version of Levi‘s character, recalls “It’s been an incredible experience. This was my first time in Toronto ever. The food’s really good, the people are really nice and getting to work with these guys is amazing.”.
He jokes (or maybe not) about a potential sequel being made here. We’ll soon see!
See our Recap of the Fan Event and Premiere:
Shazam‘s Canadian Premiere and Fan Experience is brought to us by xoTO, Audi, Toronto Comicon and Warner Bros. Canada. The Fan Experience, which features set props in a lair modeled after the one seen in the Film, plus a replica subway, gives fans a chance to connect with a couple key moments in Shazam. It is on for one more day, Friday, March 15, 2019 11 AM – 8 PM at Yonge-Dundas Square.
See more Snaps:
Mayor John Tory x Toronto Comicon/Fan Expo Vice President Andrew Moyes with the Cast
David F. Sandberg
Jack Dylan Grazer x Asher Dov Angel
Warner Bros. Canada release SHAZAM Friday, April 5, 2019. Review to come.
We are so proud! Toronto-filmed SHAZAM! got its first look at San Diego Comic-Con this weekend and it actually looks fun and amazing!
We all have a superhero inside us, it just takes a bit of magic to bring it out. In Billy Batson’s (Asher Dov Angel) case, by shouting out one word—SHAZAM!—this streetwise 14-year-old foster kid can turn into the adult Super Hero Shazam (Zachary Levi), courtesy of an ancient wizard. Still a kid at heart—inside a ripped, godlike body—Shazam revels in this adult version of himself by doing what any teen would do with superpowers: have fun with them! Can he fly? Does he have X-ray vision? Can he shoot lightning out of his hands? Can he skip his social studies test? Shazam sets out to test the limits of his abilities with the joyful recklessness of a child. But he’ll need to master these powers quickly in order to fight the deadly forces of evil controlled by Dr. Thaddeus Sivana (Mark Strong).
“Shazam!” also stars Jack Dylan Grazer (“IT”) as Billy’s best friend and ultimate superhero enthusiast, Freddy, part of the foster family that includes Mary, played by Grace Fulton(“Annabelle: Creation”); Darla, played by Faithe Herman (TV’s “This is Us”); Eugene, played by Ian Chen (TV’s “Fresh OfftheBoat”); and Pedro, played by Jovan Armand (TV’s “Hawaii Five-O”). Cooper Andrews (TV’s “The Walking Dead”) and Marta Milans (TV’s “Killer Women”) play foster parents Victor and Rosa Vasquez, with Oscar nominee Djimon Hounsou (“Blood Diamond”) as the Wizard.
See the Trailer:
Warner Bros. Canada release SHAZAM!Friday, April 4, 2019.
DC COMICS’ SHAZAM is in full swing and we are seeing even more Cast additions arrive in Toronto for filming. While Asher Dov Angel who plays the leading role of Billy Batson in the Film, was busy promoting THE ANDI MACK SHOW Season Three in New York this Family Day weekend, his Co-Stars had a little family bonding of their own over an all-you-can-eat wings dinner at Hooters in the City’s Entertainment District.
We spotted the Film’s adoptive dad CooperAndrews, known best for his work on AMC‘s The Walking Dead along with his screen wife Marta Milans (The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby), Grace Fulton (Revenge, Annabelle: Creation), Jovan Armand (The Middle) and Ian Chen (Fresh Off the Boat) out together for dinner with their own respective parents. Jack Dylan Grazer whom we spotted a few weeks back also was out with them! Coincidentally, we spotted the gang a bit later at Starbucks. The Barista who probably recognized their familiar faces asked them, “Are you guys from here?”. 🙄
They all head to historic Casa Loma after dinner. Action-packed!
The gang were nice to stop for Selfies in the rain as they tackle a new week of filming! See our Snaps!
Production officially has begun on DC Comics’ SHAZAM and while he was busy due to filming obligations in Utah filming, Asher Dov Angel has arrived in Toronto! The 15-year-old star known best for his work on Disney Channel’s AndiMack, has been cast in the role of Billy Batson who transforms into superhero Shazam, who will be played by Zachary Levi.
Arriving with his family and a ton of luggage, Angel‘s father Jody seemed just as enthused about his son starring in the Comic Adaptation which he is a huge fan of. Shazam wraps in May.
Now in its 23rd year, FAN EXPO returned once again to Toronto this weekend at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre celebrating fandom and bringing fans close to their idols of past and future. The extravaganza continues to pull-in upwards of 129,000 people from around the world with panels, exhibits, signings and photo ops galore. There’s even Speed-Dating for the geek-minded.
Cosplayers were out in full festive force with several paying tribute to the likes of The Joker, Harley Quinn, Wonder Woman and Doctor Who.
A major highlight this year was the reunion of the original ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW Cast including a seldom-seen Tim Curry, who was available for photo ops and also pre-signed memorabilia. His Castmates Meat Loaf, Nell Campbell, Barry Bostwick and Patricia Quinn also made their way to Fan Expo.
A hot ticket item this weekend, selling-out, was photo ops for the Cast of STRANGER THINGS including Finn Wolfhard, Caleb McLaughlin and Gaten Matarazzo. The former also appeared with his fellow Castmates from another production in which he stars, hotly-anticipated Stephen King Remake IT, out next week.
This year, Fan Expo‘s Guest List was heavy on talent filming in the City including Cast members from STAR TREK: DISCOVERY, which sees a premiere on CBS this September including Sonequa Martin-Green, Anthony Rapp and Doug Jones.
Meanwhile, returning favourites Norman Reedus (The Walking Dead), John Barrowman (Arrow), Nathan Fillion (Castle), Stephen Amell (Arrow), Anthony Daniels (Star Wars) and Matt Smith (Doctor Who) also proved popular.
THOR: RAGNAROK EXHIBIT
Among the several dazzling displays and exhibits at Fan Expo Canada this year was an exhibit for eagerly-awaited THOR: RAGNAROK from Marvel, giving fans get an exclusive first look at the costumes and pieces seen in the Movie.
In this third Thor Movie, our hero faces his toughest villain yet, Hela played by Cate Blanchett, and her costume makes the villain even more daunting. A black and green costume with a 3D printed headpiece that resembles something similar to a creature from nightmares it truly is a sight to behold. As well the headpiece was never actually worn in the film but rather carried afterwards in very careful placement to fit the Film.
Next is Karl Urban’s Skurge and without giving away too much information about the character he seems to be a forced to be reckoned with as well. A double-sided axe that is truly remarkable accompanies his costume. As well his costume is made of actual steel and fabric, making it one of the more impressive costumes.
Loki’s (Tom Hiddleston) costume takes its final form in this third Film. There are little tidbits of goodies in the costume as well, if we remember the first Avengers Film, the necklace Loki wears has a small piece in his costume this time around as an ode to that other appearance.
Next we have hotly-anticipated Jeff Goldblum’s The Grandmaster whose fabric costume is so much more impressive in person that anyone could have ever imagined. The layers of fabric and costume it self really stands out and boasts the character.
Two really cool props from Ragnarok are from the Hulk Vs Thor scenes where we get a first up close look at Hulk’s sword and hammer that he uses in the fight. These props are massive and certainly a dream come true for fans to be able to see these props up close and personal.
One of the most impressive pieces at Fan Expo’s exhibit this year was Thor’s costume itself, as it is a mish-mash of different pieces. While he is away from Asgard and fighting, he acquires different pieces of his costume and writing on his costume that shows his journey. However the most interesting piece for fans would be Thor’s helmet, which many fans have dreamed of seeing since the first Movie came out.
Photos from the THOR: RAGNAROK Exhibit. Hover cursor left and right below to navigate.
Our Justin Waldman and Siobhán Rich had the pleasure of sitting-in on some of the hottest panels at Fan Expo and deliver us that scoop!
This gorgeous star of X-Men, Taken, The Wolverine, The Blacklist, How to Get Away with Murder, The Blacklist and Hemlock Grove, the latter filmed right in our City, returns to Toronto again once again. She tells her fans at her panel about her experience working with Hugh Jackman who would go on to be in the widely-acclaimed LOGAN. “It’s impossible to envision anyone else playing that role”, she says about her Co-Star. “I’m grateful to have worked with him.”.
On Game of Thrones’ Sophie Turner playing a role she helped shape in upcoming X-Men: Dark Phoenix, she says “I think she’s amazing. She reached out to me when she got cast as Jean Grey and asked what pointers I had for her and I told her she’s amazing and to just follow your gut and that’s what she did.”.
You know you’re iconic when your Films are remade and your roles are reprised. This iconic star of Rocky Horror Picture Show and the original Pennywise in Stephen King’s IT, which is projected to make a huge splash next weekend at the Box Office, made a rare appearance at this year’s Fan Expo treating fans to an intimate panel.
On which of his projects he considers his favourites, Curry says “Well, I guess one of them is Clue where my part was as big as the Bible. I also love Muppet Treasure Island.“.
On his phenomenal voicework in Animation, he says “I love it. I’ve never been a contortionist. The day is young and one day I hope to be.”.
While he is the idol of many who attended his panel, he cites Alec Guinness as being someone he looks up to.
This star of Doctor Who, Desperate Housewives, Torchwood, Legends of Tomorrow and of course Arrow is loved by many a fan. He reflects on the fun he has had on the latter. “A lot of things happened and part of what I like to do is making people crack-up by doing something from across of them. Stephen (Amell) is really easy to crack-up”.
In what will be the most talked-about moment of Fan Expo Canada 2017, Barrowman was asked by a fan at his panel whom his best on-screen kiss was with. A fan who went by the name Montana then rushed the stage to the shock of the crowd and Barrowman, and the two embraced in a kiss which had the fan going shirtless. The crowd went ecstatic. David Tennant, his Doctor Who Co-Star was his favourite kiss, by the way!
Those of us who grew-up in the ’80s have fond memories of Turner‘s work in classics like Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Peggy Sue Got Married, Romancing the Stone and TheJewel of the Nile. Turner reflected on her beginnings as an actress with her fans. She claims “I didn’t see many films. I always felt like Film happened to me.”. “Most of my imagination was satisfied by reading. This is how I always thought I wanted to be an actor”, she says. “This is my 40th year in my profession and it is still absolutely thrilling to be doing it. I am now entering my fourth profession and I will be doing Cabaret. I can sing.”.
In addition to its presence being felt largely this year with several fans dressed as Dr. Who, Matt Smith returned to Fan Expo once again this year. On his eventual exit from the beloved Series, Smith says “Yeah, I always knew I was going to stay for another year. Maybe I would’ve stayed on for another year. But then I thought I couldn’t get too comfortable. It’s a difficult show to leave because it’s such a brilliant character but as an actor you have to continue to do things that frighten you and make you uncomfortable.”.
Smith currently can be seen in Netflix‘s acclaimed The Crown as Philip.
See some Snaps from Fan Expo Canada 2017. Navigate by hovering cursor over left and right of gallery.
Stunning Model/Actress Judi Shekoni hails from England and has built a following there starring in EastEnders and When Women Ruled the World, but left an impression in internationally-adored The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn in which she played the role of Zafrina.
She recently was cast in NBC‘s Heroes Reborn in an undisclosed role. The Actress recently celebrated her birthday with Co-Star Kiki Sukezane, enjoying some Japanese last weekend.
Although not in makeup earlier, she promised to stop for Photos with Fans after she got ready for a night out, getting ready for another work week ahead.
Earlier today we spotted also Series Star Zachary Levi who is known best for his work on NBC‘s Chuck and also Disney Feature Tangled. The Actor and self-professed ‘Gaming Geek’ has been in Toronto the past few weeks, although he has called the City a second home with Wife Missy Peregrym having worked and resided here filming Rookie Blue, which garnered her a Canadian Screen Award in March.
The Actor has been amazing to Fans in his time here, occasionally stopping for Fans on the street while out for smoke breaks.
19-year-old English-born American Implant, Robbie Kay, has long been building his Resume with major credits in Titles such as the Pirates of the Caribbean Franchiseas Cabin Boy. In 2013, he gained recognition worldwide for his Award-nominated work on the third Season of ABC‘s Once Upon a Time as Peter Pan/Pied Piper. His Star continues to rise fast with news of his recent casting in NBC‘s Heroes Reborn, continuing where popular Series Heroes left-off when it concluded in 2010.
Kay has been in Toronto for the past week prepping for the 13-episode Series, which films in the City through September.
We spotted Kay out and about on Holiday Good Friday, kindly stopping for a quick second for a Snap as he chat on his phone. He was all smiles enjoying a day off after what appears to be a busy week getting to know and work with his mew Co-Stars. Just last night, he was out having drinks with Zachary Levi, Judith Shekoni and Ryan Guzman.
Earlier in this week, Levi had Tweeted this awesome Cast Pic, minus the v. sweet Gatlin Green:
Details are under absolute lock and key for NBC‘s HEROES REBORN, which picks-up where the wildly-popular Series HEROES, about everyday People with super-powers, left-off when it concluded in 2010. And perhaps it is better this way as we wait eagerly with bated breath on more information to come. The 13-episode Series will film in Toronto from April through September, preceded by a Digital Series introducing us to new Characters.
We know this much for sure – original Stars Jack Coleman who played Noah Bennett, and Masi Oka who played Hiro Nakamura, will be reprising their Roles in this latest Incarnation. Add to that recognizable names like Zachary Levi, who has called Toronto a second home with his Wife Missy Peregrym being a Local, plus Rising Star Ryan Guzman who raised temperatures with his work in the Step-Up Franchise and more recently The Boy Next Door, opposite Jennifer Lopez. There also are several more emerging names like Gatlin Green, Robbie Kay, Kiki Sukezane and Shameless’ Danika Yarosh all whom surely will be recognizable after this Series surfaces. We have high hopes for this – giving Toronto some hope after what seemed like the longest lull in filming as we watched our Family in Vancouver and Montreal get all the high-profile Productions!
We spotted three Stars from HEROES REBORN in the City today as they prep for Production, including the friendly Guzman who stopped to chat and take Photos with Fans, signing Autographs generously, even having a friendly exchange with his Greeter. Mark our words – he is going to be a major Star. We love him already!
Green was seen with her guitar, friendly and shocked to have Fans already thanks to the great legacy of the HEROES Franchise. Sukezane likewise was kind to stop for a Snap. We are v. curious to know about these Actors’ Storylines and how they intertwine.
Now in its 39th year, TIFF ’14 kicked-off with an Opening Night Gala at none other than TIFF BELL LIGHTBOX. Ringing-in the celebrations was Acting Icon Al Pacino who did a Q&A with George Stroumboulopoulos, discussing everything from his childhood to what he looks for in a project now. The Godfather Star says without ever a doubt he always knew he would be a Movie Star, encouraged by a Grade School Teacher who noted to his Grandmother his talent at a young age. “I feel like I am doing Films I feel are reflective of where I am in my life.”, states Pacino.
The New York-born-Los Angeles Transplant is at TIFF ’14 with two new Films, The Humbling and Manglehorn. Arriving on the Red Carpet tonight with his Girlfriend Lucia Sola, Pacino admits the former is subject close to him. The Film is about a suicidal Actor and a younger Woman’s sexual relationship. “Manglehorn challenged me to do something different”, he says about the other Drama which seems him starring as a Locksmith in a small town, never quite getting over the love of his life.
The Star got candid about his childhood and relationship with his estranged Father whom had married five times. Although he didn’t get to know his Father Sal well as a Child, he recalls distinctly understanding what it felt like for the first time feeling his Father’s spirit covering him after his death. He remembers feeling so moved that he had been stopped in his tracks.
In addition, an Auction was held for the charitable Organization afterward, one prize including a shadowing opportunity with TIFF‘s Chief Executive Officer Piers Handling. Among those ringing-in the festivities tonight were a Who’s-Who of Canadian Talent including Sandra Oh (Grey’s Anatomy), Sarah Gadon (Maps to the Stars), Gabriel Macht (Suits), Don McKellar (Sensitive Skin), Colm Feore (The Borgias), Eric Johnson (Rookie Blue), Gregory Smith (Rookie Blue) and Newlyweds Zachary Levi (Chuck) and Missy Peregrym (Rookie Blue); Peregrym looked dazzling head-to-toe in Intermix.
TIFF ’14 has finally arrived, running Thursday, September 4, 2014 through Sunday September 14, 2014!
The moment many of us have been anticipating! The official Trailer for Thor: The Dark World finally has been unveiled. Here we see Thor (Chris Hemsworth) reunited with Jane Foster (Natalie Portman), him setting out to protect her against the Denizens of the Dark World of Svartalfheim.
Idris Elba, Tom Hiddleston, Stellan Skarsgård, Anthony Hopkins, Zachary Levi, Christopher Eccleston and Kat Dennings also star; Alan Taylor directs.
Watch the Trailer below:
Thor: The Dark World hits theatres Friday, November 8, 2013.
(Photo/video credit: Marvel Entertainment/Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)