Shazam hits theaters today (includes video story)

The story of the teenage superhero continues in the DC universe.

Zachary Levi sat down with seven student journalists on Zoom last week to discuss his new film “Shazam! Fury of The Gods.”

Levi can be recognized from his previous works; Disney’s ” Tangled,” the TV series “Chuck” and Marvel’s Thor movies. 

The first film, “Shazam!,” (2019) follows the journey of Billy Batson being chosen as Earth’s highest champion then given the powers of Zeus by The Wizard.

“Shazam! Fury of the Gods” continues Batson’s journey three years later with his other adopted siblings, to whom he gave powers in the last film.

Levi shared that he had to tap into emotions felt by the main character, Billy. These included imposter syndrome, feeling left out, and being scared to lose the people he is close to. The actor shared that he has personally lived through these emotions. 

“I try to tap into the imposter syndrome that I’ve felt throughout my life,” said Levi. “I think all of us really can experience that, will experience that at some point, if not through multiple points of our lives.”

Along with studying the different emotional aspects of Billy Batson, Levi also looked into social media to see how 17-year-olds act. 

“This is the only time in my career I’ve gotten paid to be a child,” said Levi.

The storyline of “Shazam! Fury of The Gods” references different aspects of Greek mythology’s heroes and villains. 

“People can go to the theater, even if they know nothing about ‘Shazam!,’ they can sit there and go, ‘Oh I can touch that, I can grab that, I can hold on to that,” said Levi.“I can engage with this story, and there’s a lot of easter eggs there.”

The “Shazam!” star shared that his character’s ability to fly was the most challenging aspect of filming due to all of the wire-work needed. 

“You have to wear these harnesses that may as well be diapers of death, just torture devices that you have to crank down onto your whole nether regions,” said Levi. “They chafe and cut and bruise. They are just not enjoyable.” 

Levi explained how the super suit was also tight, which made the flying aspect a bit more uncomfortable. However, he states he sees these challenges from a different perspective.

“These are all champagne problems, these are the small prices to pay to be a superhero,” said Levi. “I don’t really look at them as challenges, though they may be challenging, those are opportunities to grow.”

He continued by saying that we should look at all challenges that way so that we can become better people.

The film Shazam!, can be seen as a standalone film in the DC universe since its storyline is not connected to any other superheroes in the franchise. 

The final scene of the movie reveals that this could possibly change in the future. 

Levi compared his character to Marvel’s Deadpool. “We both get to be the outside looking in and commenting on,” he said. “We get to be that for our respective universes.”

However, the character’s relationships with other superheroes in the franchise have not been solidified.

“Shazam! Fury of the Gods” is set to be in theaters starting today.

Elena Key is a broadcast journalism student at FIU. She currently works at FIU's student newspaper, PantherNOW, as a staff writer. She works for both the News and Entertainment section. Alongside working in news, Elena aspires to be able to work in entertainment news in the future as a reporter and TV personality. She hopes to make an impact in the lives of others through journalism.