YouTuber Warstu Disputes ‘Shazam!’ Star Zachary Levi’s Comment About The Snyderverse Never Quite Materializing

Shazam-Levi stares down barrel
Billy learns he has bullet immunity in Shazam! (2019), Warner Bros./New Line Cinema

In a recent Instagram Live session, Shazam! actor Zachary Levi defended the arcane new vision of DC Studios bosses James Gunn and Peter Safran over Zack Snyder’s DCEU that had its plug pulled close to a decade ago. Levi is in favor of moving on, which is understandable when one of his bosses also produces the franchise he is a part of.

Zachary Levi as Shazam in Shazam! (2019), Warner Bros./DC Films

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However, Levi seems dismissive of the Snyderverse corner of the DCEU his films are set within as far as anyone can tell; particularly, when he said, “So I would just say be patient, and give them some space and some time to…make something special…that DC deserves to have, and something that Snyder tried to do and it just didn’t ultimately materialize, guys.”

That last remark about Snyder is what has people talking as well as calling out Levi for slight hypocrisy and ignorance. YouTube rumor purveyor Warstu recently challenged the actor’s comment and perception of the DCEU’s success by presenting box-office numbers of the Snyderverse and comparing them to DC releases of the last few years to paint a brighter picture of the pre-pandemic universe.

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His Exhibit A was Aquaman which was not only a Snyderverse movie using the same cast and timeline as Justice League but was also a big winner for DC/Warner raking in $1.14 billion according to Box Office Mojo. It was the highest-grossing DCEU movie of them all but as Aquaman towers above, other installments didn’t perform too badly either.

Wonder Woman made $822 million worldwide with 50 percent of that being a domestic haul. Granted, it and Aquaman had more favorable Chinese releases but Wonder Woman 1984 was also shown in that market. Reception during its opening weekend there, which came before an HBO Max premiere, was very tepid and the global dropoff was staggeringly steep at a total of $169M.

Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) swings in to rescue two children from an oncoming convoy of armored vehicles in Wonder Woman 1984 (2020), Warner Bros. Pictures via Blu-ray

Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) swings in to rescue two children from an oncoming convoy of armored vehicles in Wonder Woman 1984 (2020), Warner Bros. Pictures via Blu-ray

Wonder Woman 1984 firmly forced out Snyder and it underperformed, to say the least, whereas the first film did better commercially and critically. It followed Aquaman as well as Justice League which, a debacle behind the scenes, underperformed at a haul of $657M compared to the higher point that was Batman v Superman and its gross of $873M worldwide.

At $668M, Man of Steel even outperformed the theatrical League, if only by a little. Warstu compares that with the second wave that included Shazam!, Wonder Woman 1984, Birds of Prey, and The Suicide Squad. Shazam! only broke even making $366M globally which isn’t much for Levi to brag about, notwithstanding the film’s Snyderverse status, though it still did better than Birds of Prey’s $205M global gross.

Don't Stop Me-Shazam

Zachary Levi as Shazam in Shazam! (2019), Warner Bros.

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The downfall of Harley Quinn’s not-so-solo romp is legendary starting before the pandemic and the decline was steeper from there. The Suicide Squad, James Gunn’s entree into the DCU, received praise for its action, story, and how it handled the Suicide Squad IP. However, audiences either weren’t enthused or were still afraid of getting sick as the film did worse than Birds Of Prey and made $168M worldwide.

Warstu’s point is, other than Joker, Warner Bros. has had a hard time making bank on DC without Zack Snyder and Henry Cavill. Studio tinkering is arguably more to blame. As such, Zachary Levi’s charge that the Snyderverse never materialized is inaccurate and suspect. The actor could be genuinely optimistic about the future but the sliding numbers are a bad sign.

Harley Quinn

Harley cries over a spilled sandwich in Birds of Prey (2020), Warner Bros. Pictures YouTube

Does Levi have a point or are the facts on Warstu and Zack Snyder’s side? Give us your opinion below in the comments and on whichever of our socials you find us.

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