Zachary Levi, the titular star of Shazam! Fury of the Gods (2023), has taken on his share of attacks from venomous DC Comics fans online, but the actor says he remains empathetic to the trolls.
The DCU entered into 2023 with fans ecstatic about new DC Comics superhero movies, including The Flash (2023), Blue Beetle (2023), and Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom (2023). However, things started with a whimper when Shazam! Fury of the Gods failed to meet expectations.
Shazam! Fury of the Gods only had a domestic box office total of $35 million. Sure, it was still number one at the box office, but it was nothing compared to its predecessor, Shazam! (20), which opened to $53.5 million.
This has caused fans online to lay into the film. And according to star Zachary Levi, he gets it.
Zachary Levi Constantly Critiques Himself
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Zachary Levi understands that people will be critical of any film with a large fanbase, and the actor even pointed to himself on that front on the Happy Sad Confused Podcast.
“I mean… it’s already been tough. Most actors can’t watch themselves on screen, right? It’s very difficult to divorce yourself from the experience you were having while shooting those scenes, what you were thinking, and what you were feeling… And I’m constantly just critiquing myself physically like, ‘Stand up straight, you buffoon!’ Like, ‘My gosh, your posture is horrible.’ Like all of the entire movie, I just can’t help it. And also looking at myself, and my performance choices, and being like, ‘Oh man, you’re such an idiot there.’”
However, Levi also becomes easier on himself in the end because he has to move on and continue the work.
“It’s very, very difficult. It’s very difficult, but, you know, listen, I did my best, I have to accept that, I know that I did my best, and all the other stuff is out of your hands.”
Unfortunately, some people on the internet don’t have sympathy for the actor’s plight and will rip into the movie. For that, Levi has one weapon up his sleeve: sarcastic empathy.
“I Can Only Assume That They Are Very Powerless People.”
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While discussing criticism and disappointment, Zachary Levi was quick to call out a specific group of people who are assumed to be fans of the “Snyderverse” of DC films.
“There’s a whole contingent of comic book fans that it’s really unfortunate that there’s this one particular group of people that think I… well, they don’t like me because I don’t agree with them on other comic book movies. You know who I’m talking about.”
Levi also revealed that he’d understand if it was a conversation, but that’s never the case.
“But instead of there being a conversation, they take up so many of my words, or things completely out of context, and then they go stir up all the other people that they know online, and they all just want to attack, and attack, and attack, and attack. And it’s really sad because this is just one example of so many examples of the amount of just venom, and toxicity, and bullying that goes on in these cyber dimensions.”
Levi then stated that it doesn’t make him angry. In fact, he says he can see through the filter of toxic fandom. Instead, he feels sad for them.
“And people, they really get off on it because it’s like they feel very powerless… Again, so what I try to do is I just try to empathize and go, ’Oh, these people that are being so vicious online, I can only assume that they are very powerless people, who need to feel the flex by being anonymously online, tearing other people down, and hoping for the reactions, and then they feel bolstered in that, and it’s just… it’s sad.”
What do you think of toxic fandoms? What was your opinion of Shazam! Fury of the Gods? Let us know in the comments below.