The highs and lows Zachary Levi must be experiencing have to be exhausting. In a matter of months, he went from having a highly-anticipated sequel to a breakout superhero film with “Shazam! Fury of the Gods.” Then, it was revealed that his franchise has an unknown future thanks to DC Studios going with a soft reboot of the superhero universe. And then, the exciting release of his film eventually led to middling reviews and an abysmal box office opening (which he blamed on marketing, in a now-deleted tweet). So, it definitely makes sense that he seems to be expressing a bit of frustration on social media.
Over the past couple of days, since the news that “Shazam! Fury of the Gods” scored a terrible box office opening weekend, we’ve seen Zachary Levi take to social media to interact with the fans. At first, it seemed innocuous enough. Fans would ask if he would like to work in other franchises, and he would excitedly agree. Even though, it seemed a bit weird when he basically begged to be part of “The Last of Us” Season 2. But what really got folks talking was an Instagram story that he posted where he seemed to confirm reports of Dwayne Johnson purposefully vetoing post-credits scenes in “Black Adam” and ‘Shazam 2,’ which would have linked the franchises (as they should be, considering the intrinsically linked comic book history between the characters).
As we shared yesterday, news broke that Dwayne Johnson, the star and producer of “Black Adam,” killed the idea of having Levi show up as Shazam in a post-credits scene in the film, which would have had the character join the Justice Society. The scene was then reworked and expected to show up in ‘Fury of the Gods,’ but Johnson nixed that idea too by saying no Justice Society actors from “Black Adam” could show up in the scene. The article goes on to basically report that Johnson “knee-capped” both franchises by going out of his way to prevent any sort of synergy. Levi shared someone’s story about the Dwayne Johnson report and added, “The truth shall set you free.” This would appear to confirm everything in the story as true.
Ultimately, this can be seen as someone (justifiably) letting go of a bit of frustration. If the truth is what is in the report about Johnson, then Levi has every right to be upset. However, it’s always interesting to see the star of a successful superhero franchise seemingly speak ill of another major star of a sister superhero franchise. And when you combine the aftermath of the subpar “Black Adam” box office results (with Johnson going on social media to spin the bad news to make it seem not nearly as bad as it actually was) and what we’re seeing happen with ‘Fury of the Gods,’ it makes the self-referential, somewhat cringe joke by Jared Leto after the fallout of “Morbius” last year seem hilarious and incredibly professional.