Jack Dylan Grazer was born in LA in 2003. His first major role was as the asthma-afflicted Eddie in the 2016 horror film IT, a character he’ll be revisiting when IT: Chapter 2 hits cinemas this September. It was that role that brought him to the attention of David F. Sandberg, director of Shazam!. Sandberg thought Grazer would be perfect to take on the role of Freddy Freeman, best friend to Billy Batson. Despite his quick witted, super-hero obsessed personality, Freddy hasn’t had the easiest start in life, but he definitely hasn’t lost his sense of humor…or mischief, something that Grazer balances brilliantly.
A 16 -year-old hailing from Arizona, Asher Angel takes on the role of Billy, the young Shazam! who receives special powers that give him the ability to turn into a superhero, by just saying the word… “Shazam!”. Angel found a lot about Billy to appreciate, admitting his character “had a hard life but he’s a smart, street-savvy kid. And yeah, he’s a little sneaky, too, but he’s had to be. He’s been his own guardian… so, he’s had to do everything for himself in order to stay alive.” As they are two sides of the same character, Angel and Zachary Levi don’t appear on screen at the same time, however they spent some time together with Sandberg, hashing out some general mannerisms that they could share in their portrayals. “We needed to find some common ground to give both performances a similar essence. Billy has a sarcastic streak, and we both picked right up on that,” Levi admits.
Born in 1995 in Los Angeles, Justice Smith stars opposite Ryan Reynolds’ Pikachu, in the first-ever live-action Pokémon adventure, POKÉMON Detective Pikachu. He’s starred in Netflix’s The Get Down and 2018’s Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom.
In POKÉMON Detective Pikachu, Smith stars as 21-year-old Tim, whose dad - the ace detective Harry Goodman - has gone mysteriously missing. Tim is on a mission to find his dad, and is aided in the investigation by Harry’s former Pokémon partner, Detective Pikachu. Shockingly to both of them, Tim has the ability to talk to Pikachu, when all other humans simply hear “pika pika”. The pair chase clues together through the neon-lit streets of Ryme City - a sprawling, modern metropolis where humans and Pokémon live side by side in a hyper-realistic live-action world - where they encounter a diverse cast of Pokémon characters and uncover a shocking plot that could destroy this peaceful co-existence and threaten the whole Pokémon universe.
Millie Bobby Brown - Godzilla: King of the Monsters
The youngest star on our list, Millie Bobby Brown was born in Spain in 2004 to English parents, who moved back to England when she was four years old and a few years after that, moved to Atlanta, Georgia. Although she’d been acting for a few years already, her big break was in Netflix’s Stranger Things.
She’ll make her big screen debut in this year’s Godzilla: King of the Monsters, starring opposite Vera Farmiga, Ken Watanabe and Sally Hawkins. The next chapter in the cinematic MonsterVerse, Godzilla: King of the Monsters is an epic action adventure that pits Godzilla against some of the most popular monsters in pop culture history. The new story follows the heroic efforts of the crypto-zoological agency Monarch as its members face off against a battery of god-sized monsters, including the mighty Godzilla, who collides with Mothra, Rodan, and his ultimate nemesis, the three-headed King Ghidorah.
Yara Shahidi and Charles Melton - The Sun is Also a Star
Yara Shahidi was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota in 2000, and was only 9 years old when she made her cinematic debut, starring with Eddie Murphy in Imagine That. This summer she’ll be starring opposite Charles Melton, who was born in Alaska in 1991 and raised in Kansas. He’s best known for playing Reggie Mantle in Riverdale.
“What if I told you I could get you to fall in love with me…?” College-bound romantic Daniel Bae (Melton) and Jamaica-born pragmatist Natasha Kingsley (Shahidi) meet—and fall for each other—over one magical day amidst the fervor and flurry of New York City. A modern-day story about finding love against all odds, The Sun Is Also a Star explores whether our lives are determined by fate or the random events of the universe.
Which of these rising stars are you most excited about watching in cinemas soon?