Zachary Levi Thought His ‘Shazam!’ Audition Would Be Pointless

Warner Bros casing in the DCEU has been nothing short of perfection and it seems that Zachary Levi as Shazam is no different.

Levi is seemingly tailor-made for the role of Shazam, the super alter-ego of 14-year-old Billy Batson but this wasn’t always the case.  Levi knew very little about the role and felt his odds of landing the title role was too low to even bother with an audition.

“My agency sent me an appointment slip for the role of Shazam in the movie Shazam!, 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?’ Even as a cursory Captain Marvel person, who knew very little, quite, honestly, about the character at that point, I knew enough to know that.  So, I emailed them back and I said, ‘Aren’t they looking for big stars or bug guys?’ There was kind of a non-committal, ‘We’re not really sure.’ So, I said, ‘Well, I think I’m going to pass because I think that might be a waste of time.  This doesn’t seem like I’ve got a shot at getting this job, to be perfectly honest”

Levi’s audition for DC wasn’t his first inside the superhero world.  Zachary Levi auditioned for the role of Star-Lord in Marvel Studios’ Guardians of the Galaxy, which ended up going to Chris Pratt.

“It came back around, I got another audition for a completely different role.  I had no idea exactly what the role was, but they were sides that were written specifically for auditions.  I was like, ‘OK, there’s once scene where I felt I could probably portray this character’. I put myself on tape.  That was sent to the creative team.  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 tat 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 got a call from [director] David (Sandberg), who said, ‘You are my Shazam’ It was gnarly.  It was insane.  It was oddly or ironically, reminiscent of when I was camera testing for Star-Lord in Guardians of the Galaxy.  I knew that Christ Pratt had also passed on that role.  There was definitely a strange thing of, ‘Wow.  When you are not holding on to something so tightly, if it’s not something you’re dying and dying for, but you can have an unbiased, somewhat clear idea of what you are trying to go after and you know that you are just being you, you are bringing your essence.”

By first look at pictures and trailers there is no doubt that Zachary Levi brought his essence to this landmark role and there is no doubt that Zachary Levi is perfect for the title role in Shazam! and perfect for DC.

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Jeff Testanero

Hartford, Connecticut based blogger and podcaster. Graduate of the Connecticut School of Broadcasting and serious comic book collector for the past 20+ years Diehard Superman fanboy