Shazam 2 Star Blames Dwayne Johnson For Sabotaging The Film
Zachary Levi responded to a report on how Shazam 2 was undercut by Dwayne Johnson as a reason for the film's failure at the office with "the truth shall set you free."
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is one of the highest-paid actors of his generation, and his word carries weight in Hollywood. That’s why it may come as a surprise that the Black Adam star may have hurt another film within the DCU. According to an article from The Wrap, Shazam 2 star Zachary Levi blames Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson for undermining Shazam! Fury of the Gods.
In a recent post to his Instagram story, the Shazam 2 star reposted a report from The Wrap detailing some of the ways that Dwayne Johnson interfered with a number of the elements of the Shazam franchise. Levi’s post read, “The truth shall set you free,” hinting at his disappointment in Johnson’s actions.
The report details how Dwayne Johnson vetoed a Shazam 2 post-credit scene that featured the Justice Society from Johnson’s Black Adam film. They were supposedly intended to be recruiting Shazam, but Johnson denied access, and director David F. Sandberg had to pivot away from the idea at the last second. He also vetoed a Shazam cameo in the post-credit scene for Black Adam ahead of the release of Shazam! Fury of the Gods, which would have helped garner buzz for the upcoming film.
Shazam 2, officially titled Shazam! Fury of the Gods, was released on March 17th and some are already calling it a commercial disappointment. The film opened to an underwhelming $30.1 million at the domestic box office, over $20 million lower than the $53.5 million the original Shazam earned in 2019. Some think that Dwayne Johnson’s actions directly contributed to the dismal box office performance so far, in addition to poor marketing of the film.
The characters Shazam and Black Adam are intrinsically linked, and a Dwayne Johnson cameo in Shazam 2 could have made narrative sense for many reasons. Both derive their powers from the phrase ‘Shazam!’ The wizard who bestowed Shazam his abilities mentions making a mistake in choosing a champion once, which was a reference to Black Adam who used his powers to almost destroy Khandaq.
It would make sense that the Shazam and Black Adam movies would lead to some showdown between the two characters. If the post-credits scene of Shazam 2 was originally supposed to see the character recruited by the Justice Society, the same one that attempted to hunt down Black Adam, then it seems this was originally the plan for the DCU.
Apparently, this comes as part of an effort from Dwayne Johnson to center Black Adam within the DCU alongside Henry Cavill’s Superman. Johnson wanted a showdown between Black Adam and Superman to feature at some point after the events of Shazam 2. Instead, it was being built between Black Adam, Shazam, and the Justice Society.
To make things more complicated, James Gunn’s takeover of the DCU could be ominous for any existing DC superheroes moving forward. With Gunn already set to create a new Superman film with the Man of Steel recast from Henry Cavill, it’s anyone’s guess which characters will be getting a similar recasting and which will remain. It is possible that after Shazam 2, both Zachary Levi will join Dwayne Johnson and see the end of their days as part of the DCU.
With his actions in unknowingly or knowingly sabotaging Shazam 2, Dwayne Johnson’s future in the DCU has already been scuttled by James Gunn. In truth, we may never see a showdown between Levi’s Shazam, Johnson’s Black Adam, or Cavill’s Superman.