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FutureStarrZachary Levi Lost a Potential $20 Million Payday in Marvel's Thor
Zachary Levi has quickly earned himself a place of notoriety in Hollywood, best known for his roles on the hit television shows Chuck and Shazam!.
Zachary Levi has a distinguished career in acting, as well as a successful music career. He has released multiple albums and performed at numerous concerts and shows around the country.
Zachary Levi is an American actor and singer who began acting at a young age. He quickly achieved success on television as the lead character Chuck Bartowski in Josh Schwartz's series Chuck, becoming a household name with praise from both national critics and fans alike.
The actor's early acting roles included regional theater productions like Grease, Oliver, The Wizard of Oz and Big River. After moving to Los Angeles, he developed his craft as an actor.
Levi's biggest break came in 2007, when he was cast as the title character on NBC comedy Chuck. The show instantly went viral and became one of its most successful series ever.
After landing the role, Levi began receiving more and more work on both television and feature films. His leading roles in Tangled (2010) and Thor: The Dark World (2017) cemented Levi's place as a major Hollywood figure.
Levi has been busy lately working on several projects for DC Universe. He's part of their Shazam franchise and will appear in Fury of the Gods 2, due out March 17th 2023.
Zachary Levi is currently working on Shazam, but there have been rumors that he may depart the character in the near future. These speculations have been fuelled by recent comments he's made regarding the Pfizer vaccine which caused much debate within the comic book community.
However, the actor has debunked these rumors and even hinted that he might stay as Shazam. This could be because he's known to be an ardent fan and loves playing the character.
Though some reports indicate the studio plans to end the film, there is still time for a new hero to step in and take its place.
There has been much discussion lately about whether Levi will be replaced by Chris Pratt in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. While both actors have enjoyed working together on Guardians of the Galaxy series, with Pratt taking over as Avengers Star-Lord there may not be a lot of room for Levi in this expanded Marvel universe.
Billy Batson was adopted by a wizard and transformed into the hero Shazam! Upon hearing the magic word, he could gain flight and strength, along with five foster siblings who shared his powers: Mary Bromfield, Freddy Freeman, Pedro Pena, Eugene Choi and Darla Dudley. Additionally to the original Shazam Family members there was Black Adam as well as Tawny the magical zoo tiger.
Shazam first appeared as part of Fawcett Comics in the 1940s and ran for nearly 100 issues. Later, it was featured in an animated television show. DC Comics revived Shazam again in the 1970s with a series of spin-off books.
The first of these was the 12-issue maxiseries Shazam!, written by Judd Winick and illustrated by Howard Porter for the first eight issues. This series redefined Shazam! with more emphasis on magic and mysticism.
This series introduced Captain Marvel, a version of Shazam with white hair and wearing a white costume. Initially, Sabina (from Merlin's Council) sought to take on the title of herald and champion. Shazam proved helpful when she attempted to kill Freddy; however, eventually her powers were taken away by Shazam.
Injustice: Gods Among Us, a new version of Shazam appears. He joins Superman's Regime to fight an Insurgency led by Batman that threatens Superman. In the storyline, Shazam is ultimately murdered by Superman while The Flash defectes to join the Insurgency.
In the DC Extended Universe, Shazam can be seen in both LEGO DC: Shazam!: Magic and Monsters (voiced by Sean Astin) and Shazam!, featuring Zachary Levi as Shazam.
Since its release, Shazam has become a go-to app for music enthusiasts who want to quickly identify songs without having to search through Spotify, iTunes or other streaming services. All they have to do is listen for a few seconds of a track and Shazam will automatically recognize it.
In 2013, Marvel Studios released Thor: The Dark World, the eighth installment of Thor series. In it, Thor and his brother Loki engaged in a heroic battle to save Nine Realms from an evil Dark Elf threat. While this sequel is entertaining and thrilling, it also exposes some flaws within Marvel Cinematic Universe; particularly that Thor and Loki aren't really heroes in their own right.
Astrophysicist Jane Foster (Natalie Portman) finds herself drawn to an enigmatic force known as the Aether. This weapon was once used by Malekith, the evil Dark Elf, to conquer and enslave mankind; however, Jane has found it within herself and becomes its host, forcing Thor to bring her to Asgard before Malekith can take it from her.
After a fierce battle, Odin's father Bor (Christopher Eccleston) seals away the Aether in a stone column. However, Malekith and some of his followers manage to escape and enter suspended animation.
Levi's Fandral the Dashing was an iconic warrior figure from Norse mythology, yet he rarely received screen time. Instead, he was cast as a secondary role and overshadowed by characters such as Jane Foster who received more attention in the first movie.
Though this might sound like a negative, it actually serves as an advantage. In Thor's comics, Fandral and his Warriors Three are some of the most pivotal figures in his past. Their daring adventures would help Thor defeat numerous villains including rival gods and earthborn threats alike.
Levi was delighted when he was cast as Fandral in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but underestimated just how significant his role would be until he actually began shooting scenes for the film.
Unfortunately, Fandral didn't receive the attention he deserved and he and his team of warriors were quickly destroyed in Thor: Ragnarok. While it's easy to blame Levi for this event, it serves as a reminder of how poorly Thor's mythology was handled.
Levi, while still an accomplished actor, felt like Fandral the Dashing was somewhat of a wasted role for him. He didn't get much screen time or his character wasn't as prominent in comics as they should have been; unfortunately this means he could've had more influence over the MCU as a whole.
Thor: Ragnarok was one of the first Marvel Cinematic Universe movies directed by Taika Waititi, and while it was great to see him back in the superhero genre, there were several things about it which didn't quite click - such as Fandral the Dashing (Zachary Levi) and his Warriors Three being underutilized.
Fandral, as you may or may not know, is one of Asgard's most loyal heroes. He served as Thor's mate and best friend; additionally, he served as his personal bodyguard. Furthermore, Fandral helped protect Earth and all those living on it - an important role for someone who lived in a remote corner of Asgard with few other options.
It was an under-served role in the MCU, and while he had an amazing character, it's unfortunate he wasn't given more prominence as a lead. He could've made for an excellent addition to the Avengers team but never got his chance.
Another major disappointment of Thor: Ragnarok was the way Thor's allies were eliminated. Particularly, The Warriors Three and Lady Sif, who had been two of Thor's more prominent allies in comics.
Unfortunately, the characters they were portraying were so pivotal to Thor's mythology and Asgard as a whole. It would've been fascinating to witness their battle against Loki and all of Asgard's enemies.
The film isn't perfect, but it does a remarkable job of developing Thor as a character. In the first movie, he seemed overconfident and didn't ask questions; by the end of Ragnarok though, Thor has matured into someone who knows how to use his powers for good purposes.
The film also features Hela, Odin's firstborn daughter and right-hand, who is banished from Asgard for her ambition to rule outside of the Nine Realms. While Hela grows stronger throughout the course of Ragnarok, she still proves too weak to destroy Asgard. However, she manages to inflict some minor damage on Thor's hammer Mjolnir in one memorable scene in Ragnarok.