Shazam! star Zachary Levi once wanted to play Deadpool, long before the role of Marvel’s Merc with a Mouth was realized on the big screen by Ryan Reynolds in the formerly Fox-controlled franchise Levi says is comparable to his own light-hearted look at a wider superhero universe. “I wanted to be Deadpool for so long. Like a long, long [time ago]. When I was reading Deadpool I wanted to be Deadpool, but Ryan is crushing that,” Levi said at FAN EXPO Boston, attended by ComicBook.com. “They’ve done so well with creating that.”
“I actually kind of think that Deadpool and Shazam! are similar movies in that we’re both satellites of a greater universe that we get to kind of look at and point at and realize as an audience we can all do that together,” Levi continued. “Deadpool got to take all those potshots at the Marvel universe [laughs], particularly the X-Men franchise, and it was so genius. And that we get to be on the outside, existing within the DC Universe but not necessarily having to subscribe to everything that’s already there.”
Levi added he’s “so happy” playing “’Captain Sparkle Fingers,’” who Levi argued is the coolest superhero.
“I was a demigod at one point, but I was in somebody else’s movies,” Levi said of his stint as Fandral in Marvel Studios’ Thor: The Dark World and Thor: Ragnarok. “Then I got my own movie and I got to wear a cape and put the spandex on. Also I got to be, in my very unbiased opinion, kind of the coolest of all of them. I mean, not cool as like Batman cool, but I get to have fun. All those guys are moping around, ‘Gotta save the universe again.’ I’m like, [enthusiastically] ‘Come on!’ That’s fun, you know?”
But unlike the R-rated Deadpool, Levi is proud the younger-skewing Shazam! proved as family-friendly as past works Chuck and Tangled.
“Doing a superhero movie that an entire family can watch together and everyone gets something from, we need more of that, we need that,” Levi said. “Chuck was like that, I feel like Chuck was a show families could watch together, Tangled is a movie that families can watch together.”
Not everything “needs to be squeaky-clean family stuff,” Levi clarified, but “it should be family accessible.”
“Some stuff is not gonna be kid accessible and that’s totally cool, but if you can do it... and in our movie, that’s what it was,” Levi said. “I mean, I was a 14-year-old boy, like in real life, which is why I got the job.”
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