Shazam! Fury of the Gods has only been out a week and the backstage goings-on have brought out numerous discussions about what exactly went wrong. The Shazam sequel opened with a $30 million weekend, much lower than the original’s $53 million. Actor Zachary Levi went on the defensive blaming Dwayne Johnson for sabotaging Shazam’s proposed post-credit sequence of his character joining the Justice Society–and that’s just the start.
The actor took to Instagram live and soon clarified what he meant and confirmed the plans, listing DC films higher-ups, including former president Walter Hamada, and how this was the original scenario set in place, but was “thwarted” and couldn’t use certain characters used in Black Adam.
“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 (via Variety). “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.”
He continued on by defending James Gunn and his wife, actor Jennifer Holland, who has made appearances in Peacemaker and Suicide Squad. Holland and actor Steve Agee, also from Gunn’s DC productions, are there at the end of the scene.
“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. That was not the original intent. The original intent was to have Hawkman 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,” Levi said. “I’m merely coming to the defense of the truth. Truth is good. We should all live it.”
After 15 years of false starts, Black Adam starring Dwayne Johnson hit theaters last fall and introduced the Justice Society featuring Dr. Fate, Cyclone, Hawkman, and Atom Smasher. The film received less than stellar reviews and Johnson found himself quickly no longer a part of the DC Universe going forward, already moving on to another hopeful franchise. Levi saw Shazam as a bright light in a universe full of murky characters and was proud of what they had accomplished in the first film.
“It’s a real shame if comic book movies have gotten to a 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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