Zachary Levi Got The Role Of Shazam Thanks To His Failed Audition For Star-Lord In Guardians of the Galaxy

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Zachary Levi, best known for the TV series Chuck and Disney’s animated movie Tangled, is now building his career in the superhero genre. DC fans now know him as Shazam, a powerful superhero who debuted in Shazam!, David F. Sandberg’s 2019 movie which is set in the DC Extended Universe.

Every actor has a story of how he got a certain role. In Levi’s case, it was thanks to Marvel. Levi had a smaller role as Fandral in Thor: The Dark World and Thor: Ragnarok, but before that, Levi was this close to getting the role of Star-Lord in James Gunn’s Guardians of the Galaxy. Levi revealed that Gunn, his personal friend, invited him to camera testing for Star-Lord, but the role was given to Chris Pratt, who played the character in four MCU movies so far (two Guardians of the Galaxy and two Avengers movies), and the fifth one, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is set to be released in May 2023.

“James and I knew each other, we were friends, we would have game nights at each other’s homes, 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. 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 favorite and he was hesitant to take it.”

Zachary Levi for The Playlist

Although he didn’t get the role of Star-Lord, Levi revealed that James Gunn convinced Peter Safran, the producer of Shazam!, to consider Levi for the titular role. And here we are, almost a decade later, waiting for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 and Shazam: Fury of the Gods. Levi’s performance in Shazam! was praised by critics and fans. The movie grossed $366 million worldwide, and the sequel – Fury of the Gods – is set to be released in June 2023, only one month after the premiere of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.

“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.”

Zachary Levi for The Playlist

Directed by David F. Sandberg, Shazam! Fury of the Gods is set to hit theaters on June 2, 2023. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, written and directed by James Gunn, will be released on May 5, 2023.

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