Zachary Levi Pitches ‘Shazam! 3’ “Buddy Comedy” Starring Familiar DC Hero

in DC, Entertainment

Zachary Levin in Shazam: Fury of the Gods

Credit: Warner Bros

Sometimes, the second time is better than the first time…well, maybe not in the case of DC Studios’ Shazam! Fury of Gods (2023). Still, it seems like its title star, Zachary Levi, is more than willing to give the superhero another chance when James Gunn and Peter Safran launch their newly rebooted DC Universe.

Zachary Levin in Shazam: Fury of the Gods
Credit: Warner Bros.

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Warner Bros.’ collaboration with DC Studios and, specifically, the Zack Snyder-overseen “SnyderVerse” has been filled with highs and lows, from the billion-dollar haul of the Jason Momoa-fronted Aquaman (2018) to more lackluster installments like Dwayne Johnson’s Black Adam (2022) and the more recent Blue Beetle (2023). Following this string of box office bombs, it became clear that things needed to change behind the curtain at DC to keep up with its primary competitor, Marvel Studios, and fast in order to ensure the brand’s survival.

Enter James Gunn, the director behind the wildly popular Guardians of the Galaxy films and 2021’s The Suicide Squad. The filmmaker, along with longtime producer Peter Safran, was tapped by Warner Bros. to help reboot the floundering franchise. Now co-chairmen and co-CEOs of DC Studios, Safran and Gunn are gearing up to launch the first wave of new superhero projects under the banner “Chapter One: Gods and Monsters,” which will include TV shows like Creature Commandos and the highly-anticipated Superman: Legacy (2025).

James Gunn SDCC DCU comic con sag-aftra
Credit: Flickr

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Still, even with the DCEU set to conclude with this month’s Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom (2023), the star of the ill-fated Shazam! Fury of Gods already has a pitch for a Shazam threequel set in James Gunn’s DC universe that could involve Nathan Fillion’s Green Lantern. Speaking with Screen Rant, the actor was asked what he would like to explore with Shazam if invited back for Gunn’s DCU, to which he responded, “incorporating” Billy Baston’s (Asher Angel) growing maturity in a “buddy-comedy” team-up that would bring together characters from all corners of the DCU:

But I think with the third iteration, obviously, he’d be a little bit older than that, and so kind of incorporating whatever that extra bit of growth and maturation and wisdom would be and, hopefully, just go on some really cool adventures with some other cool DC characters. Nathan Fillion and I have been buddies for a really long time, and I think a Green Lantern/Shazam buddy-comedy would be so much fun. So, I don’t know, something like that.

Given his longtime friendship with Fillion, it’s not surprising that Levi pitched a “buddy-comedy” romp for his hypothetical Shazam sequel — even if Fillion has already played around in Gunn’s DC sandbox, making an especially memorable cameo as T.D.K. in The Suicide Squad. But as Gunn and Co. began moving forward with plans for an essentially rebooted franchise, it’s difficult to envision much of a future for the eponymous character, given audiences’ negative reception to the comic book sequel.

The Philadelphia Fiascos line up in 'Shazam! Fury of the Gods' (2023). Credit: DC/ Warner Bros.
Credit: Warner Bros.

Despite Shazam! (2019) faring generally well with viewers, the critical and commercial flop of Shazam! Fury of Gods has left Levi’s future in doubt. Although Levi’s continued role as Shazam in the DCU seemed far more open at one point, Gunn and Safran are seemingly taking a calculated approach to this new chapter of DC Studios, which will, very likely, mean leaving Billy Baston and his super-powered siblings behind for good.

It’s important to note that this isn’t the first time Levi himself has pitched an idea for a potential Shazam! 3. He previously revealed that his dream Shazam threequel would be a “superhero zombie movie” in which Billy and his “Shazamily” would have to face “hordes of the undead.” However, following the sequel’s abysmal box office performance, Levi was pretty vocal in his thoughts on the mixed critical response and expressed doubt at his return chances, admitting that he “[had] no idea where we go from here” during a July podcast interview.

Zachary Levi as Shazam
Credit: Warner Bros.

For now, it doesn’t seem entirely out of the realm of possibility for Levi to be back within Gunn’s DCU, especially considering Shazam! Fury of the Gods‘ mid-credits scene, which directly set him up to join the Justice Society. Although he turns down the invite, wanting to hold out for a formal invitation to the Justice League, Peacemaker Season 2 and its planned spinoff, Waller, both leave the door open for Levi’s character to return in Gunn and Safran’s upcoming iteration of the DCU.

Ultimately, it seems like DC Studios wants to start fresh coming off of the “SnyderVerse,” and for good reason. With so much at stake — particularly for James Gunn — the pressure is on for the new co-CEOs to get it right when it comes to the next era of the beloved film and TV franchise. For now, it seems more than likely that the duo will elect to play it safe by not bringing back familiar faces from the DCEU until the time is right, but if there’s one hero who could make the transition, it’s Shazam.

Do you think James Gunn and Peter Safran should greenlight a Shazam! 3 during their tenure at DC Studios? Let us know in the comments below!

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