It took a lot longer than the studio probably wanted, but Warner Bros. and DC’s cinematic universe is finally beginning to gain some momentum and head in the right direction. Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice and Justice League were two films that tried to run before they could walk, stuffing in so much story and so many characters that they both ended up as total messes, while Suicide Squad was the victim of severe studio interference.
But the billion dollar success of Aquaman and the excellent reviews for Shazam! have gone a long way to rehabilitating the franchise’s reputation. And as it turns out, the success of the latter has also helped its star, Zachary Levi, come back from a very dark place.
In a refreshingly honest Instagram post, the actor opened up about the last few years of his career, saying that before he snagged the role in the aforementioned DC pic, he wasn’t even sure if he wanted to keep on living.
“This last year has been fascinating. The last few, actually,” Levi said. “Two years ago today I was moving to Toronto, for the 4th time 3 years, to begin working on [Shazam!], one of the single greatest gifts I’ve ever been handed. Ironically, just 4 months prior, I wasn’t even sure if I wanted to live anymore. My goals, and visions, and hopes, and dreams, and therefore expectations for myself, have always been a lot.”
“When I surveyed my life a few years back, I genuinely felt like I was failing it,” Levi wrote. “Failing myself. Failing my family. Failing the world. I didn’t feel worthy of the love that was around me. I didn’t feel worthy of any of the things I had achieved up to that point. And, when presented with an opportunity to audition for Shazam! the first time, I turned down the opportunity as I ultimately didn’t feel worthy of such a role. Then came therapy. Then came the beginning of finally loving myself. And then came the miracle that was me stepping into this life changing role.”
“I will no doubt be on the journey of self love for the rest of life, and I’m so grateful for the lessons and strength found thru the darkness. But I will also be forever indebted to [David F. Sandberg], Peter Safran, [Richard Brener], and everyone at [New Line Cinema] and [WB Pictures] and [DC Comics], for believing I was worthy of wearing this cape, even while I was still learning to believe that myself.”
It’s interesting that Levi was at such a low point before Shazam!, as he’d certainly seen a lot of success beforehand, with the actor gaining considerable fame for his role on the TV show Chuck. Not to mention he also did some work in the MCU and starred in Disney’s Tangled, among many other things.
Nevertheless, it seems Levi had some issues he needed to work out and we’re just glad he was able to get things sorted and land the role of Shazam. He’s absolutely perfect in it, after all, with his performance being a true highlight in a movie that was full of them.
And the good news is, his time under the cape will continue, as Warner Bros. has already dated Shazam! 2 for April 1st, 2022. That’s obviously a while away, but with how well Levi’s portrayal of the hero went down with fans, we wouldn’t be surprised if he shows up in a few other DC pics for a quick cameo before then.