Zachary Levi is already transforming himself into Shazam! Levi was recently announced as the star of New Line and DC Entertainment’s comic book movie adaptation, Shazam!, beating out a list of contenders that reportedly included John Cena and Billy Magnussen. Now that he has the role locked, the 37-year-old actor says he plans to spend a lot of time in the gym as he prepares to transform himself into the iconic superhero.
After his Shazam! role was announced, Levi posted a message to fans on Instagram, saying he is grateful to be part of DC’s high-profile movie adaption.
“Honored and greatly humbled to be a part of the #dcuniverse by bringing the original Captain Marvel to life,” Levi wrote.
“I am beside myself with gratitude, not only for this opportunity but also the incredible outpouring of love and support from so many of you out there in the world. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ll be in the gym for the rest of forever.”
In case you are wondering what a Zachary Levi Shazam! would look like, it’s pretty awesome. In his post, the actor shared BossLogic digital artist Kode A.’s rendering of his character. You can see BossLogic’s depiction of Zachary Levi’s Shazam! below.
But some comic book fans just aren’t seeing it. Some fans were surprised by the announcement of Zachary Levi as Shazam!, taking to social media to say Zachary is too “skinny” to play the muscular superhero. Others defended the casting, pointing out that Levi has a year to hit the gym and bulk up.
While Zachary Levi surely started training before news of his lead role in the Shazam! movie broke, the actor is staying true to his word as he heads to the gym to get in ripped superhero form. Entertainment photographer Eric Blackmon took to Twitter to tease a recent workout session with Levi.
“Just finished a four-hour workout with @ZacharyLevi who is getting in killer shape for @DCComics new movie as SHAZAM!,” Blackmon tweeted.
Not only is his body type being questioned, but Zachary Levi has hinted that he was typecast after playing super spy Chuck Bartowski for five seasons on NBC’s Chuck.
“As with anyone, you play someone who becomes iconic and then everyone wants to keep hiring you for that character, and that’s been tough,” Levi told Entertainment Weekly.
“I don’t want to turn down work, but I also don’t want to just keep playing the nerd every single time, because there’s more to me — at least I hope there’s more to me — than just that.”
Clearly, there is more to Levi as he bulks up for his biggest role yet. Of course, Shazam! will not be Levi’s first role in a superhero project. In addition to his role in 2015’s Heroes: Reborn, Levi also did time in the Marvel Cinematic Universe as Fandral in Thor: Ragnarok.
Shazam! follows a boy named Billy Batson, who can transform into an adult superhero by saying the magic word “Shazam!” The live-action version of the character was previously played by actor Michael Gray in a 1972 Saturday morning TV series, and a Filmation cartoon series, The Kid Super Power Hour With Shazam!, followed in 1981. You can see Gray’s portrayal of Shazam! below.
Shazam will open in theaters on April 5, 2019.
[Featured Image by Mike Coppola/Getty Images for Entertainment Weekly]