Over the next two months, both Captain Marvel and Shazam! will release in theaters, which -- as comic book fans know -- is a fun bit of cosmic irony. The hero Shazam was formerly known as Captain Marvel, and now the two are getting their first blockbuster movies in a short span of each other. It's pretty funny! What's not funny is seeing trolls attempt to review bomb Captain Marvel in an apparent defense of DC and Shazam! Well, Zachary Levi isn't having any of that and he has a message for those "fans."
Despite the fact that critics who have screened Captain Marvel had extremely positive things to say about the movie, some people have taken it upon themselves to damage the movie before they've even seen it. Trolls attempted to review bomb Captain Marvel on Rotten Tomatoes, trying to lower the movie's score. At least part of this behavior can be traced to the DC-Marvel feud some fans still harbor, but Zachary Levi is not one of those people.
In a live video message on social media (saved via Twitter), Zachary Levi asked people to stop attacking Captain Marvel and Brie Larson in defense of Shazam! Levi said that kind of behavior doesn't help anyone and that these people are just making up bad things about Captain Marvel. The actor also emphasized there is "no competition" between the two movies, outside of the fact that they are releasing around a similar time frame. No one is pitted against each other here except in the minds of these trolls.
Shazam! director David F. Sandberg had some fun a few months ago, throwing playful shade at Captain Marvel when posting a fan poll showing more excitement for his movie. But he too recently tweeted about the Captain Marvel trolls, writing, "I for one look forward to Captain Marvel making all the money in the world to shut some of these people up."
Captain Marvel stars Brie Larson as Carol Danvers, an Air Force pilot who becomes the hero Captain Marvel after she finds herself imbued with cosmic powers from an alien species. Shazam! follows Billy Batson, a young boy who is granted the ability to turn into a super-powered adult alter ego (Zachary Levi) by a wizard.
The two are completely different characters but they share an odd history involving their names that might be contributing to these online attacks.
To make a long story short, Shazam used to be known as Captain Marvel for several decades before DC finally changed his name to avoid confusion. Marvel trademarked the name for themselves in the '60s, so when DC started publishing its own Captain Marvel comics in 1972, they couldn't legally market them by that name. So, the comics, toys and various other media were called Shazam -- even though the character was still Captain Marvel. Pretty much anyone growing up with this character thought his name was Shazam anyway, so DC finally gave in and changed the name to Shazam in 2011.
Absolutely none of that had anything to do with the Carol Danvers version of the superhero.
Good on Zachary Levi for stepping in and pointing out how silly this whole feud has become. Both movies look fun, and I'm sure there are a ton of fans looking forward to seeing the both of them.
Captain Marvel arrives in theaters on March 8, and Shazam! makes its debut on April 5.
Matt has lived in New Jersey his entire life, but commutes every day to New York City. He graduated from Rowan University and loves Marvel, Nintendo, and going on long hikes and then greatly wishing he was back indoors. Matt has been covering the entertainment industry for over two years and will fight to his dying breath that Hulk and Black Widow make a good couple.
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