DC Comics’ Shazam! (a.k.a. Captain Marvel) isn’t exactly a straightforward superhero when compared to his Justice League counterparts. Superman’s an alien from a dead planet, Batman’s a tormented billionaire, and Wonder Woman’s an Amazonian warrior princess; “Shazam” is an acronym/code word/name of a mysterious wizard that harnesses the power of six immortal elders in order to transform young, homeless Billy Batson into the costumed superhero, Captain Marvel. It’s a little unwieldy, but what makes the character fun and interesting is that he’s essentially a superhero that encompasses the innocence and imagination of a child with the appearance and abilities of a superhuman adult. There’s a lot of rich storytelling material here.
Luckily Zachary Levi gets this aspect of the character, a good thing, too, since he’s going to portray the hero in DC/Warner Bros.’ film. While promoting the two-part season finale of Tangled: The Series (which airs on The Disney Channel Saturday, January 13th at 8am), Levi spoke with ET about his excitement for the superhero role. The film’s April 5, 2019 release date will mark 20 years to the month that Levi has been auditioning in Hollywood, a milestone he marked in the interview along with praise for the film’s cast, script, and director David F. Sandberg.
But is he excited to play the part?
“I can’t tell you much, as you can probably imagine, but what I can say is I am just out of my mind excited! I get to do my version of Big, basically. It’s like Superman meets Big, and that’s just so fun. I get to be a superhero that’s excited about being a superhero, and I think that’s refreshing. It’s not glum, and like, ‘Oh, I have to save the world again.’ So I think it’s all really gravy.”
It’s great that Levi’s excited, but what’s more important is that he seems to understand what makes Shazam interesting and unique as a hero. Just imagine how a starry-eyed Billy Batson would react in the presence of Wonder Woman, even while he was “disguised” as the powerful Shazam. Levi’s given it some thought and would love to explore that dynamic on screen with a potential cameo from:
“Wonder Woman, because she’s awesome. I think getting a cameo from anybody would be super cool, but I just think Gal Gadot is so effervescent. She has such a charm. And she seems like a really cool broad. Like, she was in the Israeli army. She’s a mom. And I’m like, ‘You seem like you’re grounded and cool, and you’re Wonder Woman, and you rock.’ And I think it would be really funny to have the 14-year-old Billy Batson inside of Shazam that’s really awkward around this beautiful Amazonian. I just think that would be really awesome.”
Levi can certainly bring the awkwardness opposite a stunning leading lady, even if he hasn’t had to do so since his Chuck days. It sounds like Shazam! is pointed in the right direction and I can’t wait to find out more about this exciting DC project.