Zachary Levi speaks ‘Shazam!’ future after DC’s shakeup

Shazam! Anger of the gods stars Ross Butler, Adam Brody, Grace Caroline Currey, Zachary Levi, Meagan Good and DJ Cotrona. (Photo: Warner Bros./Courtesy Everett Collection)

For his next adventure, Shazam has to deal with the Anger of the gods – but it’s the Fates that the myth-based character might be more concerned about. The series starring Zachary Levi appears to have an uncertain future in the wake of a recent shakeup at Warner Bros. and DC Studios.

After James Gunn and Peter Safran were asked to revamp WB’s profitable but maddeningly inconsistent superhero roster, they laid out their early vision for the DC Universe last month. That included two Batman movies and DC Universe big screen debuts of Supergirl and Swamp Thing. But conspicuously absent were plans around such legacy movie franchises as Aquarius, Black Adam And Shazam!

However, while it seems like they could be in danger, Levi sounded cheerful and cautiously optimistic as he discussed the future of Billy Batson and friends with Yahoo Entertainment on Tuesday ahead of the upcoming sequel. Shazam! Anger of the gods.

“This whole industry is constantly moving. This world is constantly moving,” says Levi. “I think James Gunn and Peter Safran are going to be great leaders and I think they have great ideas and I just trust whatever their vision is.

“As far as Shazam! we need to make a sequel because enough people have seen the first one. So if enough people start watching this one, we’ll make another one. I hope you know? I don’t see anything getting in the way of that. As a franchise, we’ve kind of been doing our own thing anyway. We weren’t really tied to much of what already existed. So as long as they deem it necessary to want to keep making Shazam! movies, and it suits me in my life, I will continue to play this role as long as I can.”

Levi’s comments come shortly after he tried to quell rumors that DC would recast him in the lead role if the franchise moved forward. “I really wouldn’t believe everything you see on the internet,” he responded to a supportive fan.

Gunn, meanwhile, stressed that the social media outcry over Levi’s recent comments about the pharmaceutical industry would not factor into their decisions. “I can’t change my plans all the time because an actor says something I don’t agree with,” Gunn said. (Levi has not commented since his Jan. 29 tweet.)

Released April 2019, Levi’s first Shazam! adventure was a box office success. The Big-esque superhero comedy about a teenage boy living in foster care (played by Asher Angel) who has been given the power to transform into a divine adult superhero, earned $366 million at the worldwide box office with an estimated budget between $80 million and $100 million.

It also scored with critics, earning a 90% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes – the second highest rating of any DCEU film after the 2017 mega-hit Wonderwoman.

With David O. Sandberg returning to direct, Anger of the gods finds Billy (Angel/Levi) now leading a full team of superheroes – his foster siblings were transformed into crime fighters at the end of the first movie – in a high stakes battle against the invading gods known as the Daughters of Atlas (Helen Mirren, Lucy Liu and Rachel Zegler).

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the sequel follows a “low-key” $35 million-$40 million opening weekend three weeks before release. (The first film opened to $53 million by comparison.)

An advantage the series could have in the still-evolving DC Studios sweepstakes: like 2019’s Shazam!the main producer Anger of the gods is Gunn’s co-chief, Peter Safran.

Shazam! Anger of the gods opens March 17.

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