James Gunn helped Zachary Levi land the lead role in Shazam! Levi starred in the movie, which hit theaters earlier this year. It was directed by David F. Sandberg from a screenplay by Henry Gayden, and a story by Gayden and Darren Lemke, which brought in elements of Tom Hanks’ 1980s classic Big. Levi proved to be perfect for the role of the adult version of Billy Batson and received heaps of praise from fans and critics.
James Gunn took part in an Instagram Q&A over the weekend and was asked whether or not it was true that Zachary Levi tried out for the role of Star-Lord in Guardians of the Galaxy. Chris Pratt ended up getting the role, but it is true that Levi tried out. With that being said, the actor left a big impression on the director. He had this to say about Levi trying out for Star-Lord.
“Yes. And he was amazing. So when Peter Safran, the producer of Shazam! came to me asking about who would be good as the character I strongly suggested Zach. I’ve been told by Peter and the DC folks that’s what got the ball rolling. But I think that it’s Zachary Levi’s immense talent that did that.”
Shazam! was a moderate box office success and Zachary Levi was very proud of the movie. James Gunn congratulated him on the success more than once on social media and even stood up for the actor when he said that Shazam was the original Captain Marvel, which is true. It didn’t take long for Levi to notice Gunn’s recent kind words and he responded to the Q&A. You can read what he had to say below.
“And brother, it means the absolute world. Thanks for seeing that in me, and sharing that conviction with others. It helped literally change my life. I hope we get to work together at some point soon.”
James Gunn then responded back, hoping that he and Zachary Levi get a chance to work together too. One can easily see that happening since the two are friends. Additionally, they seem to share a similar excitement for what they are able to do as a profession. Throughout the lead up to Shazam!, Levi could not be happier to unveil new promotional items, including his favorite action figures of himself.
Zachary Levi is preparing for Shazam! 2. The actor has said that he expects the sequel to begin shooting in late spring or early summer 2020. While the first installment wasn’t a blockbuster, Levi takes pride in knowing that it brought people joy. “It legitimately brought people joy. If that’s all I ever do in this world, I will be so grateful and so stoked,” said the actor, which they will attempt to do again. The Q&A took place on James Gunn’s Instagram page and is still up as of this writing.
I just read your post below👇 & I want to thank you for recognizing, encouraging, & pushing Zachary Levi’s name as the next superhero, Shazam! He was perfect for the role & for the the superhero genre.
— bethcarl57 📖 RhapsodyCerulean🎶 (@bethcarl57) November 17, 2019