Zachary Levi Would Love To See Shazam Story From Kingdom Come On Big Screen

Shazam! star Zackary Levi wants to bring his character's Kingdom Come story to the big screen. Levi will return in the upcoming Shazam! sequel. On Twitter, a fan asked him if he was familiar with DC Comics' Kingdom Come, the Eisner-winning 1996 miniseries by Mark Waid and Alex Ross. It turns out Levi knows the story, is a fan and would like to see it turned into a movie, even if he isn't involved. "I have. And I wholeheartedly agree," Levi replied. "Would love to see that happen, whether I’m involved or not. @thealexrossart and @MarkWaid created something no short of transcendent in that piece. It speaks to so many facets of the human condition, using superhuman characters. Superb."

Kingdom Come is an Elseworlds story, meaning one set on an alternate Earth in the DC Multiverse. In that universe, the classic DC Comics heroes had gotten old and largely retired, replaced by a younger and more violent generation of heroes. Eventually, the old guard is goaded out of retirement when Lex Luthor tries to instigate a cataclysmic war between the superhumans. Ross's artwork brought an operatic tone to the story, which reflected the growing pains of the superhero genre in the 1990s. During that era, more aggressive, edgier newcomers were overshadowing classic do-gooders like Superman and Wonder Woman.

"[A] lot of what we were reacting to was the gestalt of the mid-90s in superhero comics, the idea that all of the new characters who were harsh and violent and beating up on each other without a real sense of humanity to them, that somehow those were more popular and more vital than what was perceived as the old fashioned bar," Waid told ComicBook.com in a 2017 interview celebrating Kingdom Come's 20th Anniversary. "Your dad's superheroes, Superman and Batman and Wonder Woman and those old fogies. That was really very much what we were reacting against."

Shazam (then called Captain Marvel) played a crucial role in the story. Luthor held Billy Batson under his control, using him to keep superman in check. Superman came to see Billy Batson/Captain Marvel as a bridge between the old and new generations and ultimately left the superheroes' fate in his hands.

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While Wonder Woman's Kingdom Come armor appeared in Wonder Woman 1984, and Brandon Routh played a version of Kingdom Come's Superman in the Arrowverse Crisis on Infinite Earths crossover, there are no known plans for adapting the comic into a film. Reenacting Shazam's showdown with Superman would likely require Henry Cavill to appear in a Shazam! movie, which won't be happening any time soon. Kingdom Come seems like prime material for the DC Universe Animated Original Movies line, but producer Bruce Timm said in 2017 that replicating Ross's painterly, photorealistic art style is beyond what the DC animated movie team is capable of doing.

Shazam! is now streaming on HBO Max. Its sequel, Shazam! Fury of the Gods, opens in theaters on June 2, 2023.