'Shazam!' Star Zachary Levi Nearly Passed on the Role

A self-professed geek, Zachary Levi is excited to be a major superhero for the first time in his career when he stars in Shazam! But there was a time when the actor didn't think he could play the role.

Levi was speaking at Baltimore Comic-Con when he revealed that he was intimidated in taking the role because of Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, who had already signed on to play Shazam's arch nemesis Black Adam. Instead, Levi auditioned for a supporting character, thinking Warner Bros. and New Line wanted someone to match Johnson's physique and star power.

"I put myself on tape for this other role and the director, producers, and the studio saw it," Levi said. "And they hadn’t cast their Shazam yet and they said 'We think that could be our Shazam.'"

The actor compared his situation to that of Billy Batson, being someone who didn't believe in themselves completely before getting chosen for an opportunity.

"I feel like in the same way the Wizard sees in Billy Batson the character that is necessary to be Captain Marvel, Shazam," Levi said. "I feel like New Line and my director and producers saw in me the character necessary to be this character."

Given how much Black Adam looms over Shazam!, and how the villain's own solo film was in the works before Shazam! ever came together, there are still a lot of questions surrounding Johnson's own movie. But Levi revealed it's still in the works, and that he's hopeful it all comes together for a planned sequel to Shazam!

"I don’t know when they’re going to make that standalone live-action movie but I know that’s the plan," Levi said. "And I hope that eventually Shazam and Black Adam get to fight each other because I’d like to kick The Rock’s ass."

After the first trailer, it appears that Levi and his co-star Asher Angel are a perfect tandem for playing Shazam and his alter ego Billy Batson. As Angel admitted himself to Variety, he's a big fan of what Levi brings to the role.

"Zach, you're the perfect Shazam because, I mean, we look alike, kind of, but he's funny, we have a lot in common," Angel said. "I mean, he's really a kid too. So, he's a kid and an adult. Zach, I love you buddy. I can't wait for what's to come and you're the best so, SHAZAM!"


Shazam! premieres in theaters on April 5, 2019.

[h/t SuperBroMovies]