Zachary Levi Actually Wanted His Thor Character Killed Off

Zachary Levi in Thor: The Dark World

It's a very exciting time for Zachary Levi. His debut in the DC Universe is just months away, as Andy F. Sandberg's Shazam! is the next blockbuster coming down the pipeline for Warner Bros. Levi will be starring as the adult half of Billy Batson, as the 14-year old boy is able to transform into the caped hero. But this isn't Levi's first time playing a comic book character, previously appearing in the Thor: The Dark World and Ragnarok as Asgardian warrior Fandral.

Fandral only appeared briefly in Ragnarok, before promptly being murdered by Cate Blanchett's Hela. But it turns out that's exactly what Zachary Levi was hoping for, as it ultimately freed up his schedule for Shazam! CinemaBlend's Dirk Libbey was at the Shazam! set visit, where Levi spoke about his Marvel character, saying:

When I got cast as Fandral in [Thor: The Dark World], though I wasn’t able to do it, I knew that the Warriors Three could be really fun characters if they ever developed them. They just didn’t. They didn’t.

While the Warriors Three were connective tissue that linked all three Thor movies, it seems the experience left something to be desired for Zachary Levi. Because so much of the movies are focused on the relationship between Thor and his siblings, there just wasn't enough time for Fandral and the others.

Zachary Levi didn't play Fandral in the original Thor movie, as it was played by Once Upon A Time actor Josh Dallas. His contract playing Prince Charming ultimately stopped him from playing the part again, with Levi taking on the mantle for Thor: The Dark World. The Warriors Three (most of them) were killed off without much fuss in Ragnarok, which is exactly what Levi was hoping for.

Because if Fandral survived to appear in the opening sequence of Avengers: Infinity War, it likely would have stopped him from playing the title role of Shazam! So the timing worked out perfectly, and Levi was able to pivot over to DC. As he tells it,

But then the truth is, to be honest, if let's say Fandral was still alive and let's say they had me to be in the Avengers, I'd probably be sitting in Atlanta for three months doing almost nothing while everyone else [worked]...and then they'd be, 'Okay now we're ready for you and you guys go in.' And then we'd get killed then. So the way it all worked out is it exactly the way it was supposed to.

The filmmaking world is ever changing, especially when it comes to massive shared universes like the MCU and DC Universe. This can both hurt and help artists, and Zachary Levi seems to be the latter. He'll get his moment to shine with Shazam!, and the buzz for the upcoming blockbuster is at a fever pitch.

Shazam! will arrive in theaters on April 5th, 2019. In the meantime, check out our 2019 release list to plan your next trip to the movies.

Corey Chichizola
Movies Editor

Corey was born and raised in New Jersey. Double majored in theater and literature during undergrad. After working in administrative theater for a year in New York, he started as the Weekend Editor at CinemaBlend. He's since been able to work himself up to reviews, phoners, and press junkets-- and is now able to appear on camera with some of his favorite actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid.