Zachary Levi has been cast as Captain Marvel in the upcoming 'Shazam!' movie.

The 31-year-old actor - who is best known for his role in the comedy series 'Chuck' - is set to join the DC Extended Universe as the lead character, who is also known by the film's title,

Taking to Instagram following the casting announcement, Levi said: ''Honored and greatly humbled to be a part of the #dcuniverse by bringing the original Captain Marvel to life.

''I am beside myself with gratitude, not only for this opportunity but also the incredible outpouring of love and support from so many of you out there in the world. Now if you'll excuse me, I'll be in the gym for the rest of forever. (amazingly cool art courtesy of @bosslogic) #Shazam (sic)''

The hero was created by C.C. Beck and writer Bill Parker back in 1939 and first appeared in Whiz Comics #2 a year later.

'Shazam!' follows Billy Batson, a boy who can transform into an adult superhero by uttering the magic word ''Shazam!''.

The name is an acronym of the ancient world gods and historical figures: Solomon, Hercules, Atlas, Zeus, Achilles and Mercury.

Captain Marvel's arch nemesis is the supervillain Black Adam, who will be played by Dwayne Johnson in a separate film which will build to a big screen adventure in which they will both clash.

Recently, Johnson, 45, confirmed he was offered the opportunity to play both DC Comics characters, but decided to take on Black Adam because there's more depth to his backstory.

He said: ''I felt ultimately, and this is with all due respect to Shazam/Billy Batson, it's a mythology that I love; it's been with me for almost ten years now; what made me choose Black Adam?

''I just felt Black Adam was inherently more interesting to me because I felt there were more layers to Black Adam starting out as a slave and then ultimately becoming the anti-hero who we enjoy today.''

'Shazam!' will be helmed by David F. Sandberg who will adapt the screenplay by Henry Gayden and Darren Lemke.