When one thinks about Shazam! the first actor to pop up in the mind would be Zachary Levi and no one else. The actor became the DC Universe’s Captain Marvel back in 2019 and he has since then taken over the fans’ hearts. He is perfect for the role and if the fans were to imagine anyone else taking over, it would be impossible.
This, however, was almost not the case. Not only did John Cena audition for the role of Captain Marvel before he bagged the role of Peacemaker, but Levi thought that he was ideal for the role and would definitely get it. Cena tried out for many superhero movies, including the Deadpool franchise but it had all been a failure before he became the DCU’s Peacemaker.
Also Read: “Hopefully, this does enough to silence the haters”: Zachary Levi Wants Shazam! Fury of the Gods to Perform Better Than Black Adam So That Fans Stop Eating Him Alive
Zachary Levi Was Ready To Give Up Shazam! To John Cena
Out of the various superhero movies that John Cena had tried out for, the one that got most of his investment prior to Peacemaker was Shazam! He believed that due to his childish mind, Captain Marvel would have been an interesting character to play. Seeing that Billy Batson is any regular teenager. While he did not get the role, James Gunn approached Cena for the role of Peacemaker in The Suicide Squad. He was surprised by this because he was used to getting rejected and being replaced by another actor.
It had already been confirmed that Dwayne Johnson would be playing Black Adam. This massively reduced Zachary Levi‘s confidence in getting the lead role in Shazam! He was not even the first choice, being right behind Cena for the role. He was worried that due to the nature of Captain Marvel and Black Adam being like twins in the comics, he would not get the role because he was not as big as John Cena or Dwayne Johnson. His being a child at heart made sure that Levi got the role and no one else.
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Zachary Levi And John Cena Are Both Fond Of James Gunn
While Zachary Levi has lately been defending the co-CEO of DC Films from all the backlash that he is facing, both he and John Cena have the utmost respect for James Gunn. Zachary Levi has put his trust and faith in Gunn and is sure that whatever plan he might come up with would be ideal for the fans and the actors involved.
John Cena too gets reminded of his previous boss when he interacts with Gunn. The wrestler-turned-actor sometimes gets glimpses of Vince McMahon when conversing with James Gunn. He compares that much like the business behind WWE, the CEO would never miss an opportunity to pop some pieces of advice that might help the actor in his future within the industry and help him become more professional.
Shazam! Fury of the Gods will be available to watch in theatres from March 2023.
Also Read: “Was hoping to work with a lot of these folks”: Shazam Star Zachary Levi Regrets Not Getting To Work With Henry Cavill, Dwayne Johnson, Zack Snyder
Source: The Late Late Show With James Corden