Zachary Levi on the Future of Shazam: ‘The Character Needs to Keep Going’
When James Gunn took over as co-CEO of DC Studios, he announced a major shakeup, and the ax has already fallen on several projects. The sequel to Shazam! hits theaters today, but fans worry the franchise’s future might be in danger. With everything in limbo, Shazam actor Zachary Levi said, “The character needs to keep going.”
The DC Extended Universe is undergoing a major overhaul thanks to James Gunn
WarnerMedia merged with Discovery Inc. in 2022, resulting in Peter Safran and Gunn taking on the mantle as co-CEOs of DC Studios. The idea was to have Gunn bring Kevin Feige-esque magic to DC by crafting a successful cinematic universe that would hold up for years. A reboot of the DC Extended Universe (DCEU), albeit controversial, makes sense. Man of Steel was a great film, but other movies in the franchise did not continue with the momentum the 2013 film had set.
Justice League and Batman V Superman are examples of how poor management and lack of proper direction can hurt potentially good projects. Fast forward to the merger and rebranding, and some projects have already been canceled, from Wonder Woman 3 to Batgirl and possible rumors of the end of Aquaman. Black Adam was not well received, but it helped set up a possible return of Superman. However, Gunn shut that down by announcing a project with a younger Clark Kent, the start of many new films.
Gunn stated that Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman would continue to be the studios’ biggest priorities moving forward and promised fans a balanced focus on popular characters. Gunn’s vision for the franchise is to have the DC Universe soft-reboot the DCEU. Some of DCs future projects include the Joker sequel Joker: Folie á Deux, The Batman–Part II, The Brave and the Bold, Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow, and Superman: Legacy.
Zachary Levi wants Shazam to ‘keep going’
Levi first appeared in the DCEU in 2019 as the character Shazam. The sequel Shazam! Fury of the Gods picks up where the 2019 movie left off and is set to further the character’s story in the universe. In an interview with ComicBook.com, Levi addressed the overhaul, saying it’s more of a continuous process than a full-on reboot.
“It’s kind of a rolling reset. There’s a lot of things that were inherited, that were already kind of well before Peter and James even got to the positions they’re in right now,” he said.
Levi has donned the white cape only twice, but he said he’s content with what the future holds for him even if the recent changes don’t involve his return as Shazam.
He assured ComicBook.com there will be more Shazam projects.
“I feel good that there’s a future for Shazam even if they have to rejigger the role and there’s another actor or whatever,” Levi said. “The character is great. The character needs to keep going. But other than that, I don’t know how it’s all gonna come together. I’m just taking it a day at a time, trusting a day at a time.”
Zachary Levi’s future in the DCEU depends on ‘Shazam! Fury of the Gods’
This past January, Gunn said he wanted to keep Levi on for the rebooted DCEU. However, director David F. Sandberg stated a month later that the actor’s future depended on how well Fury of the Gods performed at the box office.
Shazam! 2 had been pushed back many times, but the studio eventually settled on a March 17 release date.