Actor Zachary Levi is no stranger to starring in comic book movies, having originally been the first choice to portray the Asgardian warrior Fandral in Thor. Levi was later cast in the role for the Thor: Dark World and Thor: Ragnarok, but when Fandral died with most of Asgard in Hela's uprising in Ragnarok, it left the former Chuck actor with a chance to start fresh. Now, Levi is the star of the upcoming DC Extended Universe film Shazam! All told, he doesn't sound too broken up about Fandral biting it.
"I knew when I got cast as Fandral in the first [Thor movie], though I wasn’t able to do it, I knew that the Warriors Three could be really fun characters if they ever developed them," said Levi in an interview with Screen Rant. "They just didn’t. They didn’t. They didn’t in the first one. They didn’t really in Dark World. That’s not to say there weren’t some moments that were shot that weren’t used, ultimately, in the movie."
Levi said his on-screen death in Ragnarok, which prevented him from appearing in Avengers: Infinity War, was probably a blessing in disguise.
"Even when I got killed, there was more to that scene," said Levi. "Granted, maybe 30 seconds more of a line here, a line there. Kill, kill, you’re dead. I knew Fandral could be fodder, would be fodder. I don’t know... unless Marvel really wanted to be like, 'We want every single character we’ve ever seen, particularly demi-gods, to be able to be a part of Avengers.' But then the truth is, to be honest... If let’s say Fandral was still alive, and let’s say they tapped me to be in Avengers [Infinity War], I’d probably be sitting in Atlanta for three months doing almost nothing. And then they’d be, 'Okay now we’re ready for you, you guys go in,' And then we’d get killed then."
Levi said he thought everything worked out as it was supposed to, though he would have liked for Fandral and the Warriors Three to have had their roles expanded with additional adventures in the other realms. Though, he realized that if Fandral hadn't died, he wouldn't have been in the position to accept the role of Billy Batson's alter ego, Shazam.
"And I say, 'F--- that,'" said Levi. "This is the coolest thing ever. I’m so happy. And literally to be able to jumpstart my life. I’m healthier and stronger and happier than I’ve ever been in my life."
Arriving on April 5, director David F. Sandberg’s Shazam! stars Asher Angel as Billy Batson, Zachary Levi as Shazam, Mark Strong as Dr. Thaddeus Sivana, Djimon Hounsou as the ancient wizard Shazam, Grace Fulton as Mary Bromfield, Jack Dylan Grazer as Frederick “Freddy” Freeman, Ian Chen as Eugene Choi, Jovan Armand as Pedro Peña, Faithe Herman as Darla Dudley, Cooper Andrews as Victor Vásquez and Marta Milans as Rosa Vásquez.