During a recent interview appearance promoting Shazam! Fury of the Gods, Zachary Levi talked about the discourse surrounding his film and how some comic book fans could be considered toxic.
Toxicity is a word that has plagued the comic book fandom in recent years. To many outsiders, it seems as though every film that comes out always has a loud contingency of fans attacking the project regardless of its quality. While those fans may consider their complaints fair, litigating specific instances for validity obscures the fact that comic book circles are seen as hostile to outsiders and even more hostile to those inside. It’s this hositility that Zachary Levi spoke on in a recent podcast interview where he claims some fans are “negative to be negative.”
“There’s a whole contingent of comic book fans that it’s really unfortunate that there’s this one particular group of people that think I…well, they don’t like me, because I don’t agree with them on other comic book movies.” He told Happy Sad Confused. “You know who I’m talking about. But instead of there being a conversation, they take up so many of my words, or things completely out of context, and then they go stir up all the other people that they know online, and they all just want to attack, and attack, and attack, and attack. And it’s really sad, because this is just one example of so many examples of the amount of just venom, and toxicity, and bullying that goes on in these cyber dimensions.”
Zachary Levi isn’t the only person in recent times to call out this small contingent of the fandom that seems to eat itself alive. When announcing his retirement from the superhero genre, Shazam! director David F. Sandberg specifically commented on how tiring discourse around the films could be, with fellow star Rachel Zegler agreeing. He followed up that comment with an example of what he was saying, as a post falsely claimed that the comment was meant to blame DC fans for the failure of Shazam! Fury of the Gods, despite never mentioning the film or criticism of it.
Regardless of if one thinks their own criticism of comic book films are valid or not, it seems as though the perception of comic book fans online have been spoiled by the actions of a few bad posters. One can only hope fans can foster a community of acceptance and constructive criticism in the future so people from all walks of life can find love in the world of Caped Crusaders.
The talent behind the Shazam! sequel
David F. Sandberg directed Shazam! Fury of the Gods from a script written by Henry Gayden and Chris Morgan, Shazam! Fury of the Gods. The film stars Zachary Levi, Asher Angel, Jack Dylan Grazer, Adam Brody, Ross Butler, Meagan Good, D.J. Cotrona, Grace Caroline Currey, Faithe Herman, Ian Chen, Jovan Armand, Marta Millans, Cooper Andrews, Djimon Hounsou, Rachel Zegler, Lucy Liu and Helen Mirren.
The official Shazam! Fury of the Gods synopsis reads as follows: “Bestowed with the powers of the gods, Billy Batson and his fellow foster kids are still learning how to juggle teenage life with having adult Super Hero alter-egos. But when the Daughters of Atlas, a vengeful trio of ancient gods, arrive on Earth in search of the magic stolen from them long ago, Billy—aka Shazam—and his family are thrust into a battle for their superpowers, their lives, and the fate of their world.”
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