Speaking at Heroes & Villains Fest, Zachary Levi opened up about DC's Shazam! movie, saying that it could cut its own path in the same way Guardians of the Galaxy did for Marvel. Using a lesser-known property, Marvel turned the cosmic team into a household name and a $200 million budget into nearly $800 million at the box office with the first movie. With that logic in mind, Levi made a simple connection.
"James Gunn and the gang killed it," he said about Guardians. "It brought so much heart and humor and I think it was kinda like this dark horse that took everybody by storm. I think Shazam! kind of has the possibility to do that. Shazam! is not, for all intents and purposes, it's not Supes, it's not Batman, it's not Wonder Woman."
Levi brings up a good point. Shazam! has the potential to bring that light-hearted spark that's been missing in the DCEU. The story of a young boy (Billy Batson) who can turn into an adult superhero just by uttering a magic word has that innate sense of fun and wonder. An atypical premise and hero may just be the key to great reviews and even greater box-office returns.
"It's the movie Big, but with superpowers," added Levi. "I love that Shazam gets to be that little boy in all of us or that little girl in all of us that is genuinely just, like, jacked and gets to fly around and beat up bad guys. Who doesn't wanna do that? I wanna do that."
The name "SHAZAM" is actually an acronym whose letters stand for the names of six immortal elders: Solomon, Hercules, Atlas, Zeus, Achilles and Mercury. When Batson speaks it, he transforms into the adult hero, no Zoltar required.
Directed by David F. Sandberg (Lights Out), Shazam! is set to arrive in 2019. Not much is confirmed beyond Levi for the role of Shazam and Asher Strong for Batson. Mark Strong and Grace Fulton are currently rumored to co-star.