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“He is a crazy genius scientist”: Shazam! Star Zachary Levi Angers Zack Snyder Fans, Claims James Gunn’s ‘The Suicide Squad’ Was Better Than David Ayer’s Version

“He is a crazy genius scientist”: Shazam! Star Zachary Levi Angers Zack Snyder Fans, Claims James Gunn’s ‘The Suicide Squad’ Was Better Than David Ayer’s Version

David Ayer’s Suicide Squad (the heavily redacted theatrical version) has been refuted by Zachary Levi in a recent turn of events who has declared the work a lesser art compared to James Gunn’s sequel. Although the statement is divisive on multiple counts, the major factor that has offended the fandom at large is DC’s blatant disregard for everything associated with Zack Snyder.

On the other hand, the critics’ consensus seems to agree, having rated the first film an appalling 26% while the sequel stands at 90%. Even though in terms of budget, the sequel counts as a massive box-office loss, the critical appreciation for the film exceeds the monetary success due to its extension of spin-offs like Peacemaker. And as such, Zachary Levi’s recent statement only serves to verify what the industry has come to realize over the years — James Gunn is a genius and a visionary.

James Gunn's The Suicide Squad
James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad (2021)

Also read: Release The Ayer Cut Campaign Catches Steam After Never Before Seen Suicide Squad Footage Shows Visceral Assault on Arkham Scene

Zachary Levi Divides Fandom Over Suicide Squad Comment

A month after the creation of DC Studios and the takeover news of James Gunn and Peter Safran broke the internet, Zachary Levi (lead protagonist of Shazam! which was produced by Safran) went on record to congratulate the duo. But in building up his appreciation for James Gunn, the actor managed to tear down David Ayer’s creation, and the Snyder fans aren’t too happy about that.

“James is a crazy genius scientist of creation. I don’t know if it will be good for everyone at DC, but for me, this is great […] And without wanting to offend those who worked on the first, #TheSuicideSquad was 10 times better, all because of Gunn’s vision.”

Jared Leto as the Joker in Suicide Squad
David Ayer’s Suicide Squad (2016)

Also read: “DC is lucky to have you”: Suicide Squad Director David Ayer Praises DC CEO James Gunn After He Hints He’s Going To Release The Ayer Cut

The comment was held accountable on many fronts, primarily because the theatrical version did not relay the original vision of the film’s director. For years, fans have been gunning for Ayer’s Cut to no avail. Moreover, Suicide Squad presented a much darker concept than the sequel, a notion that the fandom has grown to love in recent years. James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad clashed with the original film’s violent cinematography with its comical, fast-paced, and almost absurdist script but both films have garnered their own faction of devoted fandom. However, Levi’s declaration did reinstate the debate in the center of the growing disparity between the SnyderVerse and the current DCU.

Zachary Levi Expresses Wish to Work With James Gunn

On 17th November 2019, James Gunn confirmed the rumors of Zachary Levi being considered as a potential candidate for his Guardians of the Galaxy‘s Star-Lord. He also claimed that even though he offered the latter’s name to Peter Safran for the lead in Shazam!, it was Zachary Levi’s “immense talent” that managed to secure the role. Soon after, the actor replied, thanking the filmmaker for witnessing his potential, that it “means the absolute world”, how it helped change his life, and that they get to work together at some point in the future soon.

Zachary Levi
Zachary Levi

Also read: Suicide Squad: Why Releasing the Ayer Cut is a Bad Idea

The vision is coming true on two fronts. Zachary Levi’s DCU career is blooming with Shazam! Fury of the Gods quickly approaching its theatrical release to an expectant audience. James Gunn now has the creative and executive authority over DC Studios, the division overlooking the entire canon of DC’s film, television, live-action, animation, and gaming. And his expansive vision to deliver an interconnected DC Universe Bible will soon bring the two together, hopefully, sooner rather than later, given how Billy Batson has been established as a central character in DC’s live-action canon.

Shazam! Fury of the Gods premieres theatrically on March 17, 2023.

Source: Twitter

Written by Diya Majumdar

At 25, Diya Majumdar is inching closer to getting to the bottom of every film and television's history in existence. Having graduated with honors in literature from Miranda House, DU, her passion and profession both include dissecting the world of cinema, with more than 900 published articles on Fandomwire. She is a liberally opinionated person with an overbearing love for Monet, Edvard Munch, and Van Gogh and boasts of being an avid painter of all their troubled works.