Before He Was Shazam, Zachary Levi Really Wanted To Play Deadpool

Before he donned the red padded-out suit to play the title character of Shazam!Zachary Levi wanted to be a Marvel superhero. No, not the one that he briefly played in the Thor franchise, but a Marvel character that shares a similarly colored suit and a disposition for mouthing off. Zachary Levi revealed that his dream superhero role was Deadpool, the Merc with a Mouth currently played by Ryan Reynolds.

Zachary Levi may have been born to play Shazam, but there is one comic book character that he always dreamed of playing: Deadpool. In an interview with CinemaBlend, Levi revealed that he "wanted to play Deadpool for so long," before Reynolds ultimately stepped into the blood-red mercenary suit.

"I wanted to be Deadpool for so long. Like a long, long [time ago]. When I was reading Deadpool I wanted to be Deadpool, but Ryan is crushing that."

Levi might have lost out on the role of the smart-mouthed immortal mercenary, but he's had plenty of run-ins with the comic book world, both on the Marvel and DC side. Levi took over in the minor role of Fandral, one of the Warriors Three, in Thor: The Dark World before he was unceremoniously killed in Thor: Ragnarok. But that gave him the chance to land the role that he was made for: Billy Batson/Shazam in the DC movie, Shazam!

Now that he has been blessed with the wisdom of Solomon, Levi notes that he kind of got what he wanted with Shazam! Reynolds is "crushing" his role as Deadpool, and Levi gets to play a character that has plenty of parallels to the Merc with a Mouth, he said:

"I actually kind of think that Deadpool and Shazam! are similar movies in that we're both satellites of a greater universe that we get to kind of look at and point at and realize as an audience we can all do that together. Deadpool got to take all those potshots at the Marvel universe [laughs], particularly the X-Men franchise, and it was so genius. And that we get to be on the outside, existing within the DC Universe but not necessarily having to subscribe to everything that's already there."

While on paper Shazam and Deadpool couldn't be more different, Levi has a point — the winning appeal of Shazam!, like the Deadpool movies, is that it exists outside of the main DCEU and has the freedom to poke fun at its most iconic superheroes. Shazam! doesn't break the fourth wall as much as Deadpool does, but it does have its fun messing with the boundaries of the superhero genre. Hopefully we'll see even more of that in Shazam! 2, which doesn't yet have an official release date, though Black Adam is expected to shoot by the end of next year.