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'Shazam!' star Zachary Levi on DC Studios regime change: 'It's gonna be better than okay'
The actor is very optimistic about his future as Shazam, stating: "I think I’m in a pretty good position."
Zachary Levi has become the latest high-profile member of DC's cinematic universe to sound off on the recent studio regime change that put James Gunn and Peter Safran in charge of the comic book juggernaut. In a live-streamed Instagram message to fans over the holiday weekend, Levi (who will reprise the role of Billy Batson's heroic alter ego, Shazam, in March's Fury of the Gods) repeatedly stressed that he isn't privy to the decisions being made by the new production chiefs. With that said, he urged viewers to remain patient and let Gunn and Safran — both of whom he counts as close friends — do their jobs.
"He understands world-building. He understands how to do right by the canon and also by the characters and also by the audience," the actor said of Gunn, pointing to the director's immense success with turning the Guardians of the Galaxy from "a total niche property" into a household name. "Peter’s an incredible diplomat and business person I’ve worked with him now for years. Just breathe. It’s gonna be okay. It’s gonna be better than okay. But we have to give them that, we have to give them some respect and some trust in that."
Levi explained that he wanted to set the record straight in the face of wild rumors and false speculation as Warner Bros. Discovery rethinks its entire superhero mythos. So far, Wonder Woman 3 has been scrapped, Henry Cavill will not be returning as Superman, and there's even talk of Jason Momoa hanging up his trident after next year's Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom.
One might assume that Shazam, as another holdover from the previous cinematic continuity, is not far from the chopping block, but Levi seemed pretty optimistic about where he stands under the new leaders. Even so, he's been playing the Hollywood game long enough to know that the world of entertainment is mercilessly unforgiving.
"I think I’m in a pretty good position," he added. "I think we made a great movie [and] I think it’s gonna do reasonably well. I hope so. But regardless of that, if they decide at some point that, ‘Hey, this is the way we gotta go,’ them’s the brakes. At whatever point I finish playing the role of Shazam, I hope people enjoyed my tenure playing the role and that they come with me to whatever else I get to go and do."
Levi also took the time to hype up the Shazam! sequel (directed by the returning David F. Sandberg), which he described as being "markedly better" than its 2019 predecessor, which brought in $366 million worldwide. "We had more time and more budget and all the things. And if you didn’t like the first one, still go see the second one because I think you’ll be impressed that we did even better."
Shazam! Fury of the Gods will strike theaters like a bolt of lightning Friday, March 17, 2023.
Looking for more blockbuster cinema? Jurassic World Dominion, Nope, and Halloween Ends are now streaming on Peacock.