Last year’s Shazam!, the seventh installment in the DC Extended Universe, opened with a flashback to 1974, showing how the young Thaddeus Sivana met the Wizard Shazam and was rejected as a suitable candidate to become the wizard’s champion. During that flashback, we met Sivana’s father, and 45 years later, Mr. Sivana was still around, albeit in a wheelchair due to the car accident he was caught in.
Both times, Mr. Sivana was played by Smallville actor John Glover, though as those who saw the movie will remember, the elder Sivana basically looked the same after the 45-year jump forward. When a Shazam! fan on Twitter recently asked director David F. Sandberg if it was always the plan to have Glover play both the younger and older Mr. Sivana, the filmmaker responded:
No, we originally cast different actors for young and old but test audiences didn’t get that they were the same person. It can actually be a problem even if you have the same actor with a different hairstyle or something. Make sure your characters have really distinct features.
As the person who sent David F. Sandberg that question noted, Mr. Sivana looked to be in his mid-to-late 40s in Shazam!’s flashback scene, meaning he’d be in his early-to-mid 90s during the present day events. He does indeed have good genes! But as Sandberg explained, evidently having two different actors play Mr. Sivana proved to be problematic with test audiences, so it was decided to solely have Glover in the role. I’d agree that he boasts those distinct features.
Of course, we didn’t get to spend much time with Mr. Sivana in the present day, as his son murdered him, his brother Sid and Sivana Industries’ board of directors after being empowered by the Seven Deadly Sins. Mr. Sivana and Sid didn’t treat Thaddeus well when he was a child, and clearly that continued into adulthood, so Thaddeus was all too happy to exact revenge after he finally obtained the power he desperately craved.
It’s also worth mentioning that Shazam! was just the latest of John Glover’s DC Comics-related credits. Along with playing Lionel Luthor in Smallville, he also appeared as Jason Woodrue in Batman & Robin and voiced Edward Nygma, a.k.a. The Riddler, in Batman: The Animated Series and The New Batman Adventures. Glover also has a foothold in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, having played an SSR informant in the short-lived Agent Carter series.
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September 23, 2020