Many fans and critics saw “Shazam! Fury of the Gods” as a refreshingly silly antidote to years of dark DC Comics movies, but the film was unable to attract a significance audience at the box office. (The 2023 film grossed $133 million globally against a budget of around $100 million outside marketing costs.) Many cited the film’s underperformance as more proof that the DC Universe needs a creative overhaul under new co-CEOs James Gunn and Peter Safran.
Zachary Levi, who reprised his role as Captain Marvel in the sequel, is still trying to figure out why the film didn’t resonate. In a new appearance on The FilmUp Podcast, Levi said that he was struck by the difference between audience and critics’ reviews of the film.
“I don’t know what the future holds for it all because, unfortunately, the second movie was not as well received,” Levi said. “The audience score is still quite good, but the critics’ score was very oddly and perplexingly low, and people were insanely unkind.”
Levi defended the superhero sequel, explaining that he thinks the film doesn’t have to be high art to be enjoyed as a piece of light entertainment
“I’ve been a part of things, and as much as I wish they were good, I know they’re okay,” he said. “I know that they miss a lot. And I’m not saying ‘Shazam! Fury of the Gods’ is some perfect, Orson Welles-like masterpiece, but it’s a good darn movie.”
The future of Levi’s Shazam — and virtually every other DC character — is currently in limbo as Gunn and Safran begin to retool the brand. (Their tenure began while the film was already in post-production.) Their new cinematic universe will kick off with Gunn’s “Superman: Legacy” in 2025 before rolling out an ambitious slate of interconnected movies and TV shows. While Gunn hasn’t ruled out bringing back the occasional actor from previous DC films, Levi made it clear that he has no knowledge of future plans for Shazam. At the moment, he’s focused on preserving the legacy of “Fury of the Gods.”
“I have no idea where we go from here,” Levi said. “I just hope that or believe that history will show… it will be one of those things that people will go back, people will watch ‘Fury of the Gods’ on home streaming or on a plane or whatever, and it will be this movie that they heard so much shit about and then they will be like, ‘Well, wait a minute.’”