Not everyone is happy with the ascension of James Gunn and Shazam! co-producer Peter Safran into leadership positions at the freshly christened DC Studios. Gunn’s personal controversies aside, fans are more upset over losing Henry Cavill as Superman and potentially Ben Affleck as Batman. The departures come as an omen that the DCEU of Zack Snyder is very much dead.
Despite a loud backlash, Gunn and Safran found one defender. “The amount of conjecture and rumor mill and drama and nonsense that keeps getting spun around out there on Instagram and Twitter is laughable,” said Zachary Levi in an Instagram live video. “So I would just say be patient, and give them some space and some time to try and really make something special.”
The Shazam! star is taking up for his bosses and defying the endless pot stirring online – that Gunn addressed as personal attacks – and tells everyone to give them a chance as Zack Snyder had. “And I think something that DC deserves to have, and something that [Zack] Snyder tried to do and it just didn’t ultimately materialize, guys,” Levi continued.
Levi classifies the Internet “chatter” as BS and defies the notion Cavill was disliked by Gunn, saying, “not just making decisions because they like someone or don’t like someone. They’re making decisions based on what is best for Warner Bros., DC, that entire studio and entity and trying to make as many fans, as much of an audience, happy as they can.”
“It’s not an easy position, they got handed all these things that were already in a lot of conflict. So guys, just f***ing give ’em a break,” he added. Levi implored viewers to “Take it easy. Take a breath,” and “Just go enjoy what the holidays are, give them some time… and let’s see what happens on the other side of this.”
The actor’s remarks could be interpreted as effusive in an effort to save his own career with Warner Bros./DC as, though he is optimistic about his future and the success he is sure Shazam!: Fury of the Gods will have, Levi is uncertain where he’ll land after 2023. “Listen, I have no idea what ultimately is going to happen to me,” he said.
“I think I’m in a pretty good position, I think we made a great movie, I think it’s going to do well – reasonably well, I hope so,” Levi admitted as he continued. “But again, regardless of that, if they decide at some point that this is the way we gotta go – them’s the breaks, that’s how it goes.”
Shazam!: Fury of the Gods is set for a release on March 17 in the coming year after a long but seemingly calculated delay. Its spinoff starring Dwayne Johnson as the title antihero, Black Adam, underperformed and forced Warner to reevaluate Johnson’s place in the DCU. Maybe he comes back eventually but he won’t be part of Gunn’s impending slate announcement.