Long before Star-Lord and the gang became household names, the Guardians of the Galaxy were very much the outliers of Marvel’s superhero universe. And rightly so, what with the sentient tree and wise-cracking raccoon.
But because James Gunn and his team wholeheartedly embraced this underdog title, audiences were floored by the end product, which itself was a heartfelt and downright hilarious space opera of highs, lows, and animated saplings. Trying to capture lightning in a bottle twice is always difficult, as evidenced by the reviews for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, but when it comes to the DC Extended Universe, lead star Zachary Levi believes Shazam! can channel that same magic in due time.
Having signed on to play the souped-up Billy Batson – other cast members include Grace Fulton, Mark Strong (Dr. Sivana) and Asher Angel as the young Billy – Levi is now preparing to step before the cameras early next year. And while appearing at the Heroes and Villains Fan Fest in San Jose this past weekend (via ComicBook.com), the actor outlined the reasons why Shazam! can succeed as a relatively unknown property – just like Guardians before it.
James Gunn and the gang killed it. It brought so much heart and humor and yeah, I think it was kind of like this dark horse that took everybody by storm and I think Shazam kind of has the possibility to do that because Shazam’s not, for all intents and purposes, not Supes it’s not Batman, it’s not Wonder Woman, it’s not what most of the people [expect.]
On a more general note, Levi then explained how the character of Shazam fits into the overarching DC Extended Universe. In short, he may not be the kind of hero who crops up for an appearance in Justice League, but Billy Batson can still bring something “fun [and] jovial” to the DCEU.
If you look at most Justice League montages or Justice League posters Shazam is not necessarily one of the characters you put on there except he is in the Justice League. So, if we do well enough…by the way when I was camera testing for this job I was driving two and from warner bros, it was like two weeks before Justice League came out, and I was driving to Warner Bros. and the posters were, there were like three of them on the way to Warner Bros. and on the way back, and I was going ‘am I about to on one of those posters right there? This is insane!’ and I might be. So, to that extent, if Shazam gets to be that kind of fun, jovial, because he is he’s Billy Batson…it’s the movie Big but with superpowers.
Shazam! is expected to go before the cameras early next year.