Zachary Levi has had an interesting journey when it comes to the world of comic book movie films.
First, the actor starred in Thor: The Dark World, replacing Josh Dallas as Fandral. Sadly, the film wasn’t much of a hit—but he did return to the role in Thor: Ragnarok… only to be killed off without effort in a matter of seconds.
While that seems bad for Levi on the surface, it led to even better things. The star is now behind an entirely different superhero: Shazam. The boy turned adult superhero was a surprise hit for Warner Bros., and the character became an instant favorite.
A second film, Shazam! Fury of the Gods, has already been written and filmed. In fact, production wrapped recently in Atlanta, Georgia.
Some of the cast decided to stay behind for the local Dragon Con convention, where they were able to talk about whatever fans wanted to ask them.
One of the questions resulted in Zachary Levi admitting that he would love to see his Shazam character, notably Billy Batson, go up against Spider-Man.
Shazam vs. Spider-Man
The Direct attended the Shazam!-centric panel at Dragon Con 2021, during which the stars of the film were asked which Marvel character they would most want to see their DC stars fight.
Zachary Levi, the man behind the titular hero himself, had two answers. His first was Thor, “cause you know we’re both like Gods of Thunder,” but also teased that “the irony of it would be fun":
“Split decision for me, it’s either fight Thor, cause you know we’re both like Gods of Thunder essentially; shooting electricity at each other. Plus you know, I kinda made a little cameo in that whole situation. Just the irony of it would be fun. Kill me will you… alright… [sarcastic tone] I’m not bitter.”
Levi shifted back into a serious tone, admitting that if “[he] didn’t die there, [he] wouldn’t be alive here.”
The star went on to his second choice, someone who is the “only one character… [who] is similar to Billy Batson:”
“But also, I think there’s only one character, in all of comic-dom, both DC, Marvel, whatever it is, there’s only one character that I think is similar to Billy Batson: and it’s Peter Parker... I think Billy and Peter having a fight would be really fun… they would become friends after the fight!”
D.J. Cotrona, who plays the superhero version of Pedro in the film, chimed in with his own answer, saying that “[he] would have to say the Hulk:”
“I would have to say the Hulk. I think there’s some similarity… green is a similarity… strength is a similarity.. and also there’s a kinda a not feeling comfortable in your own skin in a lot of different ways. Communication issues. I think they’d… it wouldn’t be a long fight. They’d be hanging out.”
Spider-Man and Shazam, Friends For Life
Billy fighting Spider-Man isn’t the first choice that would usually come to mind, but now that Zachary Levi has suggested it, it certainly makes perfect sense. Both characters embody that childlike wonder and joy, albeit sometimes in different ways.
It’s also funny that Levi chose to fight Thor as well. The similarities are obviously there, but what made the choice even better is how Levi called out the delicious irony that would be at play.
Thor: Ragnarok director Taika Waititi certainly made waves with what was essentially a soft reboot for the franchise. Sadly, Zachary Levi’s character was a victim of this new direction––though, as the actor notes, it got him into the position he's in now.
Shazam! Fury of the Gods releases in theaters on June 2, 2023