Before he joined the DC Extended Universe as Shazam! in the highly-anticipated movie of the same name, Zachary Levi portrayed Fandral, one of the Warriors Three in Thor: The Dark World and Thor: Ragnarok. At that time, Levi was most recognized for his lead role in NBC’s action comedy, Chuck. As one of the most prominent performers also actively involved within the geek community, seeing him even in a supporting role for a comic book movie was cool but to now see him be the headlining lead in Shazam! is even cooler.
The opening for Levi to take on the Shazam! role can be seen as a product of perfect timing since his character Fandral only made a brief appearance in Thor: Ragnarok in which he is killed by Hela, the Goddess of Death (Cate Blanchett). The role was even more brief than his appearance in Thor: The Dark World but in hindsight, Levi believes that it gave him the opening to take the role as the original Captain Marvel.
In an interview with Entertainment Tonight, Levi was asked about whether or not he felt that getting killed off from the Marvel Cinematic Universe was a “blessing in disguise” for him. Levi responded with the following:
“100 percent… Taika Waititi is such a talented director. I was very happy to go and reprise Fandral even for a day in Ragnarok just to work with him. And to go see Chris [Hemworth] again and the various people that came over from The Dark World, and also to die at the hands of Cate Blanchett… if you’re gonna die, die at the hands of Cate Blanchett. But yeah, it was a bummer. I felt like, ‘Oh my God, I got to be a superhero. I got to be in a comic world of movies and then wasn’t really utilized then I was dead. So it was a bit of a bummer. All that said, like you just mentioned in hindsight, if I hadn’t died in that movie, there’s a good chance that I never would’ve gotten Shazam! because my contract would still be active at Marvel and who knows… If all of a sudden I was testing, they would’ve been, ‘No, we wanna hold on to you because we’re gonna go put you in this and have Thanos snap his fingers and turn me to dust later.'”
You can watch Levi’s full interview with ET down below:
From the looks of it, everything happened for the best in the end. Just from the first teaser trailer alone, it looks like Levi was destined to play Shazam. Just from his upbeat spirit and childlike sensibilities, talk about a match made in Heaven.
What did you think of Levi’s departure from the MCU when Fandral was killed off in Thor: Ragnarok? Do you also view this as a blessing in disguise for Levi as he brings Shazam to life? Sound off in the comments below, and be sure to continue following Heroic Hollywood for all the latest news in the DCEU.
Directed by David F. Sandberg, Shazam! stars Zachary Levi, Asher Angel, Grace Fulton, Jack Dylan Grazer, Cooper Andrews, Marta Milans, Faithe Herman, Ian Chen, Jovan Armand, with Djimon Honsou and Mark Strong as Doctor Sivana. Here’s the official synopsis:
“We all have a superhero inside us, it just takes a bit of magic to bring it out. In Billy Batson’s (Angel) case, by shouting out one word—SHAZAM!—this streetwise 14-year-old foster kid can turn into the adult Super Hero Shazam (Levi), courtesy of an ancient wizard. Still a kid at heart—inside a ripped, godlike body—Shazam revels in this adult version of himself by doing what any teen would do with superpowers: have fun with them! Can he fly? Does he have X-ray vision? Can he shoot lightning out of his hands? Can he skip his social studies test? Shazam sets out to test the limits of his abilities with the joyful recklessness of a child. But he’ll need to master these powers quickly in order to fight the deadly forces of evil controlled by Dr. Thaddeus Sivana (Strong).”
Shazam! hits theaters on April 5, 2019.
Source: ET Online