James Gunn responds to backlash surrounding Zachary Levi’s criticism of Pfizer

James Gunn has responded to the controversy over Zachary Levi’s criticism of Pfizer.

Levi, who plays the lead role in the DC superhero film Shazam! and its forthcoming sequel, responded to a tweet this week asking if the pharmaceutical company was “a real danger to the world”.

“Hardcore agree,” he wrote.

This led some fans to interpret his comments as an anti-vaccination stance.

However, in a later follow-up post, Levi provided more context for his tweet, sharing a link to a 2009 US Justice Department release regarding the “largest health care fraud settlement in its history”.

“Just one example of what I’m referring to,” he wrote.

Gunn, the Guardians of the Galaxy filmmaker who was recently appointed head of DC Studios alongside producer Peter Safran, was asked about the controversy this week.

“Zach Levi, a couple of days ago, tweeted something about vaccines, got some people upset. Don’t know if you have a comment on that,” asked a reporter.

Gunn replied: “Actors [and] filmmakers I work with are going to say things that I agree with and things that I don’t agree with. That’s going to happen. I don’t have a list of things that somebody should say because of what I think. I can’t be changing my plans all the time because an actor says something that I don’t agree with.

“By the same token, if someone is doing something morally reprehensible, that’s a different story. We have to take that stuff into account. It’s a balance. It’s a modern world, It’s a different place.”

Speaking on Tuesday (31 January), Gunn also addressed the “f***ed up” history of DC, and promised that the company would offer a “unified” approach in future.

Shazam! Fury of the Gods is set to be released in cinemas on 17 March.