‘Shazam': Mark Strong in Talks to Play Villain Doctor Sivana (Exclusive)

Actor previously played DC villain Sinestro in 2011’s “Green Lantern” opposite Ryan Reynolds

Mark Strong is in talks to play DC Comics villain Doctor Sivana in New Line’s “Shazam,” TheWrap has exclusively learned.

Strong is no stranger to DC as the actor has previously play villain Sinestro in 2011’s “Green Lantern” opposite then Green Lantern Ryan Reynolds.

He’s known as Shazam’s archenemy and most frequent foe. In the most recent run of DC Comics’ the New 52 books, that “Shazam” is loosely based on, Sivana is depicted as a respected scientist desperate to save his family from an unknown plight. With science having failed him, he turns to magic. Doctor Sivana’s team finds what he believes to be the tomb of Black Adam; while attempting to open it, the scientist is half-blinded by magical lightning to the face (which has the side-effect of letting him see magic).

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David Sandberg, the horror filmmaker behind “Lights Out” and “Annabelle: Creation,” will direct the film. Filming will begin in February 2018 for a likely 2019 release.

Zach Levi joined the cast last week and will play “Shazam.”

Strong, who won an Oliver for “A View From the Bridge” and was last seen in “Kingsman: The Golden Circle,” next up has eight-part espionage thriller “Deep State,” for Fox Networks Group. Strong stars as Max Easton, a retired Secret Service operative and member of elite British/America team called The Section, coaxed back into the field to try to shut down an Iranian missile program.

In 2009, Doctor Sivana was ranked as IGN’s 82nd greatest comic book villain of all time.

Strong is repped by Alex Irwin of Markham, Froggatt and Irwin and WME.