Zachary Levi On First Turning Down ‘Shazam’, His Thoughts On Henry Cavill’s Superman, And More

Zachary Levi wasn’t the most obvious choice to play the lead role in Shazam, one of the most powerful characters in all of the DC Universe. Sure, he’d played a hero before in NBC’s beloved Chuck, and there was that brief stint as Fandral in the latter two Thor movies, but this was still quite a leap forward.

Levi would agree, and reveals to Collider that he actually turned the Shazam role down at first, simply because he didn’t think he was what they were looking for…

“I knew that The Rock had been cast as Black Adam, and, so my first reaction is, ‘Why the hell are they sending me this right now?’ I emailed them, and I said, ‘Hey, aren’t they looking for a) massive stars, or, at the very least, b) someone who is a massive person.’”

He continues, “I put myself on tape. That was sent to the creative team,” the actor recalls. “Then, I get a call from my agent and they said, ‘Hey, so, what about that role of Shazam that you passed on two months ago, because they think you actually might be very right for this?’”

“Then, at that point, I got very happy. But I was also still kind of confused. I camera tested probably five days later, or six days later. Then, the next day, I found out that David [Sandberg, director of ‘Shazam’] called me. I was at the gym…I got a call from David, who said, ‘You are my Shazam.’”

But even so, it still almost didn’t happen. As I mentioned before, Levin played Fandral of the Warriors Three in two Thor movies, replacing Josh Dallas who left after the first. If it wasn’t for the fate Fandral met in Thor: Ragnarok, Levi would still be stuck in the MCU as a bit player. Here’s what he told CBM

“When I got cast as Fandral in ‘Thor: The Dark World’, though I wasn’t able to do it, I knew that the Warriors Three could be really fun characters if they ever developed them. They just didn’t. They didn’t…If Fandral didn’t die, I might still be under contract with Marvel and I never would have been able to get this job. And I say f— that! This is the coolest thing ever. I’m so happy.”

Finally, the name Henry Cavill came up in regards to his role as Superman. The Man of Steel had been rumored to be making a cameo in Shazam, but that never happened and recent reports are that Cavill has exited the role. But Levi thinks different, and that Cavill is still the DCEU’s red & blue champion…

“Well, but he’s still Superman. He’s still Superman. Just because they haven’t gotten around to making another standalone Superman movie, doesn’t mean he’s still not Superman and doesn’t mean he’s still not killing it as Superman. Doesn’t mean everybody doesn’t still love him as Superman, right?”

Part of me is still hoping for that Superman appearance.  Maybe it’ll happen. We’ll find out when Shazam hits on April 5th.