Zachary Levi Believes Losing Out On GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY Lead Role Led To Him Landing SHAZAM!
Shazam! Fury of the Gods star Zachary Levi has recalled auditioning for Star-Lord in Guardians of the Galaxy and explains how he believes that experience led to him joining the DC Extended Universe...
Zachary Levi is one of only a handful of actors to have had roles in the MCU and DCEU, starring in both the Thor and Shazam! franchises. Before being cast as Fandral in Thor: The Dark World (a role he was forced to turn down in the first Thor movie due to other filming commitments), Levi auditioned to play Star-Lord in Guardians of the Galaxy and came closer to landing the part than we thought.
"James [Gunn] and I knew each other, we were friends, we would have game nights at each other's homes, had a lot of mutual friends," Levi told The Playlist's The Fourth Wall podcast (via Slash Film). "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."
"Oh man, I wanted that role so bad, like so, so, so, so bad. It came down to me, one other guy, and Chris Pratt, but Chris was always their favourite...eventually, and I think smartly, [Pratt] decided to take the job and so it didn't go my way. I hoped I left enough of a good impression with James that when I was auditioning for 'Shazam,' and his very dear friend, and manager, and sometimes producing partner, Peter Safran, calls up James because this is how our industry works."
"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,'" Levi added, reflecting on his journey to the DCEU. "Was that the thing that sent it all over for me? I don't know that, but I'm sure it was part of that conversation, absolutely. I'm indebted to James that he would believe in me enough to remember that and pass that info on."
Unfortunately for Levi, his role in the MCU ended up being a rather thankless one. Fandral wasn't given much to do in Thor: The Dark World and barely got chance to utter a sentence in Thor: Ragnarok before dying at Hela's hands. It ultimately worked out for the Chuck alum, though, as Shazam! was a hit and a sequel, Shazam! Fury of the Gods, is now on the way.
It's certainly interesting to think about what might have been with Levi playing Star-Lord instead of Chris Pratt, but we'd say things worked out for the best as the actor has been a great Shazam.
Shazam! Fury of the Gods is set to be released in theaters on June 2, 2023.