Zachary Levi plays the fan favourite character of Shazam in the 2019 superhero movie. But the audience was very close to seeing him in a very different role from another universe altogether. The Chuck actor revealed to the Fourth Wall podcast that he auditioned for the role of Star-Lord from the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise. He was one of the three people in the final running along with Chris Pratt and another actor.
Levi happens to be one such actor who has appeared in both MCU and DCEU. He portrayed the role of Fandral in the Thor franchise. But his stint as Shazam is what shot him to the fame he enjoys today. He confessed that his good relation with James Gunn may have been instrumental in getting him the role of the DC superhero. Zachary Levi thinks that even though he failed to get the part bagged by Chris Pratt, he left an impression during the audition. During the casting of Shazam, producer Peter Safran contacted James Gunn about Levi.
Recalling his MCU audition, Levi said, “James [Gunn] and I knew each other, we were friends, we would have game nights at each other’s homes, and had a lot of mutual friends. And so, he had asked me to come in and read for Star-Lord, and I did, and then that led to the next step, and then all of a sudden, I was camera testing. I wanted that role so bad, like so, so, so, so bad.”
Zachary Levi continued, “Fortunately, I was in good standing with James, and I think between that and how well James thought I did in the Star-Lord test, he said, ‘Yeah man, you really should give Zach an opportunity at this. I really think he could be great.’ I’m indebted to James that he would believe in me enough to remember that and pass that info on.”
Zachary Levi will be back as Shazam in the 2023 film Shazam! Fury of the Gods.