Of all the tragic aspects of the failed Green Lantern movie, from the failed start of DC’s shared universe to Ryan Reynolds’ personal disappointment, the fate of Sinestro might be the most bittersweet. Mark Strong showed himself capable of playing the supervillain to perfection–which is why was as disappointed as anyone that it never happened in a Green Lantern 2.
Sinestro still proved to be one of the more compelling supporting characters of Green Lantern, due largely to the performance Strong gave the iconic villain. That, and the dramatic irony (apparent to those who knew the character’s story) of this proud, fearless leader of the Green Lantern Corps one day becoming its greatest enemy. With Strong now bringing another iconic DC villain to life in Shazam! we couldn’t help but ask if he, too, felt that the villain’s potential never got the chance to shine.
While visiting the set of Shazam! back in April of 2018, we had the opportunity to see how differently Mark Strong’s second entry in DC’s movie universe would play out. While he’s still playing a supervillain who is more unique and relatable than most, the fact remains: not many actors get the chance to help define a blockbuster superhero–let alone TWO. According to Strong, he’s certainly made peace with his part in the Green Lantern legacy… even if he’s savoring the chance to truly BE the villain fans know and love:
You know, my version of Sinestro I think is going to be rebooted, as they say. No doubt when the new Green Lantern comes out, which I think they’re doing. But as I said and I mean it, I felt really… it was a little interrupted. Because Sinestro was going to go into the second movie and become the yellow Sinestro that we know and love, and cause havoc. It got cut short by the fact that they never made a second movie of that particular incarnation of Green Lantern and Sinestro. But thankfully, I’ve now got a chance to… maybe ‘exercise my evil credentials’ with Doctor Sivana.
From the images and trailers for Shazam! it appears that Strong wastes no time in getting to play the part of a comic book supervillain. From the sounds of it, the opportunity to make this version of Dr. Sivana his own is one that Strong is embracing, expressing his hope and desire to make a truly “iconic” foil to the hero Shazam. In a twist of fate some might even call serendipitous, Strong being called upon to help make Billy Batson a superhero is strangely poetic.
With Green Lantern, he was tasked with showing what drives a person like Sinestro, without getting the chance to play antagonist. This time around, the absence of Black Adam means Sivana has gotten a promotion. No longer a lackey of Adam, Sivana is the one imbued with powers similar to Shazam, firing lighting from his hands, flying through the skies of a cowering city, and showing the audience what real, terrifying evil looks like. As Sinestro, Strong would have embodied the power of fear. But as Sivana, with the powers of The Seven Deadly Sins behind him? That might be better for the actor… even if it means Sinestro is the worse for it.
Be sure to read our full interview with Mark Strong, and the rest of our coverage from the set of Shazam! including insights from the cast and filmmakers.