Zachary Levi Says ‘Shazam 2’ Credits Scene Got ‘Thwarted’ and ‘It’s a Shame’ if All Comic Book Movies Have to Be ‘Serious, Intense, Dark’
Almost a week after “Shazam! Fury of the Gods” opened in theaters and bombed at the box office, Zachary Levi took to Instagram to weigh in on a whole lot of drama surrounding the DC comic book tentpole. In a video, the actor confirmed that plans for the “Fury of the Gods” post-credits scene — in which Shazam is recruited to join the Justice Society — were “thwarted,” although he did not say by who.
A report from The Wrap published after “Fury of the God’s” opening weekend claimed that Dwayne Johnson sabotaged the “Shazam” post-credits scene by blocking “Black Adam” characters Cyclone (Quintessa Swindell) and Hawkman (Aldis Hodge) from appearing in it. Johnson headlined “Black Adam” and aimed to start a new thread of the DC Universe built around his character facing off against Henry Cavill’s Superman. “Black Adam” also underperformed at the box office, and both Johnson and Cavill are not included in the new DC Universe being spearheaded by DC Studios bosses James Gunn and Peter Safran.
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The “Fury of the Gods” post-credits scene finds Shazam being recruited to join the Justice Society, a group of heroes introduced in Johnson’s “Black Adam.” In the film, it’s Emilia Harcourt (Jennifer Holland) and John Economos (Steve Agee) from Gunn’s “The Suicide Squad” and “Peacemaker” who appear to recruit Shazam, not Cyclone and Hawkman.
Levi originally made headlines for sharing The Wrap’s post on his Instagram story with the caption: “The truth will set you free.” While he did not name Dwayne Johnson then or in his new Instgram video, he did confirm that Cyclone and Hawkman were blocked from appearing in the post-credits scene.
“I may or may not have, you know, reposted something in my stories about a story that I had nothing to do with, that [The Wrap] had reported on,” Levi said. “And then I got flack about it, because people were saying, ‘What are you doing? You’re trying to blame this guy because your movie’s not doing well.’ Listen, I haven’t blamed anybody. There’s not one single person that I have blamed for anything about the way that our movie has performed.”
“People are slagging on James Gunn because Jennifer Holland, his wife who is an actor and is in ‘Peacemaker’ and ‘Suicide Squad’… we used Jennifer and Steve in that scene in ‘Shazam,'” Levi continued. “That was not the original intent. The original intent was to have Hawkeye and Cyclone to be there inviting me into the Justice Society. Walter Hamada, Peter Safran, David Sandberg… we had an awesome scene and we were thwarted… I’m merely coming to the defense of the truth. Truth is good. We should all live in it.”
“Shazam! Fury of the Gods” opened to $30 million domestically, well below the $53 million the original “Shazam!” opened with in 2019. It was a big loss considering the sequel cost north of $110 million to make and another $100 million to market. Levi wrote in a Tweet that the film’s marketing was a big issue as it was not promoted as a family movie, and he also agreed that some Zack Snyder fans were happy the movie bombed as a kind of revenge against Warner Bros. for dropping Snyder’s DC Universe in favor of Gunn and Safran’s new one. The SnyderVerse was defined by its brooding and dark tone, which is the direct opposite of the more light and goofy “Shazam” movies.
“If you don’t want to watch a movie with humor in it because you’re more into straight up hard action, I get it,” Levi said in his new video. “I’m not trying to force anyone to do anything they don’t want to do. But let me remind you where comics and Captain Marvel/Shazam started… These were comics geared toward younger people and the fun and the silliness and the goofiness.”
“It’s a real shame if comic book movies have gotten to place where they have to be nothing but serious and nothing but intense and nothing but dark,” Levi added. “That’s a sad day. I don’t know what else to say about that.”
“Shazam! Fury of the Gods” is now playing in theaters nationwide.
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