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Zachary Levi as Shazam!

Marvel and DC Comics have been business rival for decades. It makes sense. The two companies are in the same business of publishing comic books, largely about superheroes. Now, both companies are making movies about those same superheroes. While the competition may make sense from a business standpoint, Peter Safran, producer of the upcoming Shazam!, doesn't think the rivalry ever needs to extend to fans. He thinks fans of superhero comic books have more in common than they realize, which goes beyond the label on the book, and he's got some pretty strong words for those that disagree.

As an example of this, Safran points out that director James Gunn is getting ready to helm both a DC movie (The Suicide Squad) and a Marvel movie (Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3). For him, this is a prime example that both sides of this debate can get along. According to the producer...

I’ve always believed, that which unites comic book fans, is much greater than that which divides us. And so the whole Marvel, DC rivalry thing is kind of bullshit. Because really we’re all fans of the same thing. I love the fact that he’s directed a movie for Marvel and directed a movie for DC. And the Earth is not spinning off its axis. It’s okay.

It seems that picking sides is an intrinsic part of being a fan of something, whether people are drawing a line between comic book characters or video game consoles. Once a person chooses to invest emotionally or financially in one thing, defending it against attacks from the other side becomes part of being a fan. That's certainly the case in the classic Marvel/DC rivalry which has now spilled over into the the cinematic universes that both companies have created. It seems like most people, or at least the most vocal, have chosen which one they love, and have written off the other.

However, as Peter Safran tells Uproxx, there might be a crack in the wall between Marvel and DC. Zachary Levi actually had a small role in Marvel's Thor franchise before he became the title character of Shazam!, but now, we have the first director who will make films in both franchises.

It was an interesting turn of events when James Gunn was removed from Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, only to eventually find his way to writing and directing the second Suicide Squad movie. It certainly made sense, both were comic book movies that focused on a team of dysfunctional heroes. However, things took an even stranger turn when we learned that Gunn had been hired back by Disney and would actually direct both films, one after the other.

People will always need to make choices with their entertainment dollars and not everybody is going to be able to afford to go see every comic book superhero movie in the theaters. In that case, choices must be made, and one might decide to spend their money on one cinematic universe exclusively over the other. But even then, there's no reason you can't also be a fan of the other. Having a favorite superhero doesn't mean you can't also like all the other ones, regardless of which brand they're associated with.

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