Shazam Star Zachary Levi Says The Sequel Is Better Than The First Movie: 'Everything Just Clicked'

It'll be a little while yet before "Shazam: Fury of the Gods" thunders its way into theaters, but when it does arrive in 2023, its star, Zachary Levi, thinks it will be worth the wait. And color us intrigued! After all, the first "Shazam!" remains one of the better films to come out of the DC Extended Universe (keeping in mind that an entertainment writer coined that term as a joke and Warner Bros. apparently just rolled with it, letting us adopt it as the official name for its shared universe of DC superhero movies).

"Shazam!" came out in April of 2019, and "Fury of the Gods" is scheduled for June of 2023, so by the time we see Levi suited up in red muscly tights again, over four years will have passed between Shazam's adventures. In a way, though, having a little extra time between movies — as opposed to chasing a more immediate release date — may wind up working to the benefit of "Fury of the Gods." Speaking to Collider, Levi said:

"I will say that I genuinely — and this is not just lip service — I'm really proud of the first one, I think we made a really, really good movie. I think the second one is better. I think that we had more time, we had more budget. We had, essentially, the entire cast returning, and we all knew our characters a little bit more; we could kind of sit into them a little bit more. Henry Gayden, who wrote the first script, wrote the second, and he did a fantastic job doing so."

'Everything Just Clicked'

Back on August 31, 2021, director David F. Sandberg tweeted an image of a clapperboard with the words, "That's a wrap," indicating that "Shazam: Fury of the Gods" had concluded filming. There's still post-production work to be done, and it's not clear if Levi has screened an early cut without all the polished visual effects, or if he's just basing his comments on the movie's script and the experience of shooting it. However, he sounds very enthused about "Fury of the Gods." Continuing his comparison of it with "Shazam," he went on to say:

"Everything just clicked even a little bit more and a little bit more. And also the kids have grown up a little bit more, so even the sensibilities of them become even slightly more mature which brings it closer to my or other people's adult minds, so there's even more connection there, I think. The action's great, the comedy's great, the relationships are great. The bad guys, Helen Mirren and Lucy Liu, are fantastic. I'm very proud of it. I want it to come out sooner than June of 2023."

In the Venn diagram of superhero film actors, Levi rests more within the DC circle than the Marvel circle, just in terms of his leading-man status as Shazam. Yet so far, he's only appeared in one DC movie, while acting as a supporting character in two Marvel movies, "Thor: The Dark World" and "Thor: Ragnarok."

In another life, Levi could have played Star-Lord in "Guardians of the Galaxy." As it is, his Star-Lord audition helped land him the role of "Shazam," and "Fury of the Gods" will give him a chance to add another DC movie to his resume and even out the score. Who knows, maybe we'll even see him pop up in a credits scene in "Black Adam" next year first, since his character and Dwayne Johnson's are closely intertwined in comics history.

"Shazam: Fury of the Gods" is slated for release on June 2, 2023.