Star of the DC saga “Shazam” Zachary Levi could have played full time with the enemy Marvel by joining the films “Guardians of the Galaxy”. However, everything did not go as planned for him during the auditions. A bad for a good.
Zachary Levi: from Chuck To Shazam!
For those who have long followed the career of comedian Zachary Levi, one would tend to believe that he had two careers. Indeed, the first is, without possible dispute, televisual. Between 2007 and 2012, he is revealed in the series Chuck. In the role of the nerd Chuck Bartowski who becomes by the greatest of luck a secret agent, the actor makes speak his comic talent. Alongside Yvonne Strahovski and Matt Bomer (other actors revealed thanks to this series), Zachary Levi is therefore definitely launching his career.
His second career continued in cinema. Thus, after having lent his voice to the character of Flynn Rider in Rapunzel, he joined the MCU in 2013 via Thor: The Dark World to replace Joshua Dallas who played Fandral in the previous installment. Its role is however very secondary or even anecdotal since his character is killed without having uttered a single line in Thor: Ragnarok, the third opus.
After experiencing a television failure with the miniseries Heroes Reborn, Zachary Levi however returned to the fore in 2017 since to everyone’s surprise he is chosen to play the DC superhero Shazam in the blockbuster of the same name. Once again, the actor bursts the screen thanks to his devastating humor. Shazam is thus a critical and commercial success which allows the beginning of a saga, at the same time as the return of an actor whom one had somewhat lost sight of these last years.
A failed audition, but …
In addition to having played in the saga Thor, Zachary Levi could have appeared in a famous MCU franchise: Guardians of the Galaxy. Indeed, in the podcast The Fourth Wall radio The Playlist, the star of Shazam! reveals to have auditioned to play neither more nor less than Peter Quill, alias Star-Lord. Indeed, he and James Gunn were good friends. When he was hired to realize Guardians of the Galaxy, he asked the actor for a test audition to play the hero. Unfortunately, Levi could not compete with Chris Pratt who got the fetish role. A failure which however opened the doors to another franchise:
I hoped that I left a good enough impression on James Gunn that when I was due to audition for Shazam! his dear friend, manager, and sometimes production partner, Peter Safran, gives him a call. Because that’s how our industry works. Fortunately, I had a good relationship with James, and I try to be on good terms with as many people as possible. I think between that, and the way James thought I passed the Star-Lord test, he must have said, “Yeah man, you really should give Zach a chance.” It could be awesome. Is that what exactly was said between them? I don’t know, but I’m sure that was part of the conversation. Anyway, I’m indebted to James for believing in me enough to remember it and for passing this information on.
All’s well that ends well then. Zachary Levi will even resume the costume of Shazam, on the occasion of Shazam! Fury of the gods, scheduled for May 31, 2023.